The winter season will soon be upon us. You will be getting out suitable clothes for the cooler weather and making other preparations. Don’t forget to also get your home ready for the change of seasons. There are some simple steps you can take to ensure you don’t get surprised with any costly repairs during the winter.
Getting Your Home Ready for Winter
- Heating system checkup- Schedule an inspection to identify and repair problems. A small issue during the summer months can turn into a major repair in the winter months. Whether you live in a section of the country that experiences freezing temperatures regularly or just the occasional drop, you will want your HVAC system in top condition during this time of year.
- Reverse the direction of ceiling fans- This is an easy, but effective way to increase heating efficiency in your home. You want the warmer air to circulate where it will do the most good for the living space.
- Unblock heating vents- Rearrange the room if possible to leave space for the vents to have a clear path distributing air throughout the room. Leaving a little space near the vents can help if you can’t move furniture.
- Inspect the insulation- This can include areas around doors and windows, along with the attic and basement. If you are not ready to do a whole house inspection for insulation, you can start by checking around wall outlets and light switches for drafts and add an insulating kit. These kits are available at most home improvement stores. There are also various store-bought door and window insulation kits available.
- Check for exposed water pipes- Pipes can crack during freezing temperatures, even if there are only a few nights that are below freezing. This can be easily prevented by wrapping the exposed pipes with the appropriate insulation.
- Inspect your gutters- This is a step many people overlook. Get a thorough inspection of your gutters to identify if any blockages could cause a buildup of water. This could potentially freeze and cause damage to the gutters and wood framing near the area. Adding extensions to the downspouts will divert the water 3 to 4 feet away from your home to help prevent the forming of ice dams.
- Look for close-by tree branches- Overhanging tree branches near your home may come down during winter conditions and cause damage. Fall is a good time to have some tree trimming done. There should not be any branches extending over your roof.Tree branches can dislodge siding, so make sure to check for dangling pieces in your inspection!
- Have your roof checked for damage- The winter is the toughest season for roof material. You may not be able to get repairs done at that time. It is a good rule of thumb to be proactive and get it inspected before the weather makes it difficult for repairs to be done.
- Cover window air conditioners- If you don’t expect to use your window units during the winter, invest in a good quality cover to prevent drafts and protect the air conditioner.
- Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors- The winter months have a higher rate of reported private residential fires. Change the backup batteries even if your detectors are hard-wired into the house electrical system. Fires can occur when there is a power failure.
- Protect your deck- If you have a wooden deck, apply a new coat of sealant if you haven’t done that in the spring. Using a plastic shovel to clear snow off the deck will minimize damaging the wood.
- Turn off and drain outside water sources- Remove, drain and bring in the hoses. Shut off outside water from inside and open the outside valve about one quarter turn to prevent any remaining water from expanding in the pipes and causing damage. Sprinkler systems should be drained before the ground freezes.
There is no guarantee that problems will not happen during the winter months, but taking these 12 precautions can stack the odds in your favor. All parts of the country can have weather extremes during the winter months. It may come in the form of freezing temperatures or high winds. Even the southern states can experience an occasional drop in temperature. You will sleep much easier knowing you have taken all the necessary steps to minimize the chance of damage to your home and that your family is safe.
Preparing for the winter early will ensure there is enough time for any necessary repairs to be done. Please contact Allstate Exteriors & Restoration Services to schedule a free winter inspection. We have been proudly serving our customers for 20 years. Our home improvement professionals are here to answer all your questions concerning getting your home ready for winter weather. Enjoy the season without worrying about the safety of your family and home!