The weather is getting colder every day and while the winter season brings exciting holidays and busy schedules, it’s important to make your home a priority in order to prepare for sometimes harsh and unexpected freezing elements. We hope to continue to share helpful tips with you to help prepare for you chilly temps, but today will focus on an overall approach to protecting your home for the holiday season.
Preparedness is Key
Just as you would prepare for a big storm, potentially icy conditions require foresight and planning. Keep snow shovels, non-perishable food, and extra water handy in case of emergencies. You never know when your electricity will go out or icy roads will pose dangers to those leaving home to run errands. Besides, who wants to go out in that weather anyway? No thanks!
Check Gutters & Downspouts
Clogged gutters can wreak havoc on your home, causing water leaks and potentially serious damage if left unchecked. With fall in your rearview mirror, it’s important to clean out leaves, twigs, and other debris from gutters and downspouts as the seasons change and leaves stop falling. Experts recommend you clean these areas in mid-fall and double-check them before winter. There are plenty of options available to help make this process easier, including installing leaf guards to protect cleared gutters from collecting additional falling debris.
Fill in the Gaps
While not specifically water related, checking your doors and windows for gaps is another major step when winterizing your home, and each step you take towards overall preparedness, the better! Warm air can escape through holes costing you extra in heating costs that we know you’d rather spend elsewhere. You can caulk or apply weatherstripping around problem draft areas to keep air in and excess moisture out for a reasonable cost.
Heat It Up
The last thing you want to do is be without heat this winter. Save the drama and check your heating system and hot water heaters beforehand to make sure everything is in good, working condition. Professionals recommend replacing the filter in your heating system and giving it a test run before the weather cools off too much, and you should also get your water heater checked out if you’ve noticed it’s not working as well. Our tankless hot water heaters are a great choice if you’re in need of a replacement, and as a bonus, they’ll save you space in your bathroom for holiday guests and offer plenty of hot water for everyone in a full house!
Besides your gutters, your roof, chimney, and decks should also be inspected closely as winter weather approaches. Damaged roof shingles and loose gutters can cause water damage to your home. Snow, ice, and extra moisture and weight they bring can and will cause issues if you’re not prepared to handle them. Checking exterior walls for cracks or holes around foundations and applying sealant to decks will help waterproof your home as well.
Last but certainly not least, preparing your plumbing is essential to winterizing your home. Freezing temps will cause water to turn to ice and expand, causing leaks and breaks in your pipes. If you’re planning to be on vacation to visit the folks, this is an important step. We’ll go over it more in detail in a later blog, but for now we recommend that you make a list of steps you need to take to effectively winterize your pipes so you don’t miss a step. Additionally, you should check which pipes are most vulnerable to freezes, identify cracks or openings in walls, floors, and ceilings, and boost any poorly insulated areas that may be cause for concern. Installing a WaterCop system can help give you peace of mind if you’ll be away by giving you 24/7 indoor flood and freeze protection from unexpected and sudden water damage. We’re proud to offer WaterCop and highly recommend it for the upcoming change in seasons!
Want to learn more tips for winterizing your home? Keep an eye on our blog for the expert advice on what you should be doing when it comes to preparing for cold weather. Our team of experts is always available to answer questions, so chat with us on our website, stop by the office, or give us a call today!