When it comes to preparing your home for winter’s effects, timing is everything. The best way to feel cozy - throughout the season is to take the proper steps for winterizing your home. There are many preventative measures you can take to prepare your home both on the outside and the inside.
Winterization tips for outside the home:
- Clean out the gutters. Don’t let winter gutter maintenance wait until the last minute. Keep your gutters free of leaves and debris throughout the fall so that when winter arrives, you can avoid the problems from drainage systems getting clogged and pools of water on your roof. While you’re up there, if you see any problem areas be sure to make roof repairs now rather than later.
- Trim potentially dangerous trees and branches. Clear the exterior of your house from trees or branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your or your neighbor’s house.
- Caulk and seal cracks and wall openings. A simple coating of caulk can make a huge improvement in keeping heat in and cold out.
- Make repairs on steps and handrails. Repair any issues in these areas that could lead to dangerous slips and falls.
Winterization tips for inside the home:
- Pay special attention to attics. By properly insulating your attic floor, you’ll avoid the problem of excess heat escaping through your attic, which can cause snow or ice to melt on the roof. If the ice builds up, your roof could accumulate ice dams that create a disastrous effect.
- Take care of your pipes. Check all of your water pipes to make sure there are no new cracks and leaks, and insulate the pipes to prevent freezing or cracking. If you leave your home for days at a time in the winter, install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system, which can prevent freezing pipes from bursting and flooding your home.
- Hire a contractor for the big jobs. Even if you do a lot yourself, a contractor can reinforce your efforts and offer you peace of mind. Consider a contractor for updating insulation in walls and attics, installing weather stripping in doors and windows where necessary, and putting in storm windows or replacement windows.
- Take steps to avoid the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make it a habit to check that your carbon monoxide monitors have fresh, functioning batteries. Carbon monoxide poisoning during winter storms can often occur if high snow drifts are blocking a home’s vents, resulting in poor ventilation. The gas is colorless and odorless, which makes it deadly if your monitors aren’t able to detect it. Be sure to clear any accumulated snow from your natural gas meter, vents, and appliance exhausts.
There’s no reason why you can’t spend winter enjoying a cozy fire and hot cup of tea in the comfort of your home. If you haven’t already, take these important steps for winterizing your home and save yourself the headache of unfortunate or even disastrous consequences.