If you’re a homeowner, you probably dread anything happening to your house. (Houses are expensive!) The problem is that winter and its sometimes extremely cold weather can be hard on your house. It’s important to take steps to protect your house from the elements – snow, ice, sleet, and freezing temperatures are no joke! Anyways, there are a few things you can do to protect your home from winter.
10 tips to prepare your home for winter
1. Insulate your house.
Take the time to insulate your house, paying attention to the walls and attic. You can also add caulk and weather stripping to your doors and windows. (This can help you keep the cold air outside where it’s meant to be. Another thing you can consider is installing storm windows or covering the windows with plastic.
The goal is to keep the frigid, cold air outside so that it doesn’t get inside. That nasty winter chill belongs outside.
2. Check the pipes.
You’ve also got to remember your water pipes. If the weather is super cold, you might want to let the taps drip. The reason why is that water expands when it freezes, so it can cause your pipes to burst. And that would be a big problem. At any rate, you should know how to shut off the water valves just in case. Know how to protect the pipes and prevent them from freezing.
3. Don’t forget the roof.
You also can’t forget about your house’s hat. Don’t neglect the roof, which protects your home. You should have any needed repairs taken care of. Also, the weight of snow and ice can be really heavy, so you need to make sure that your roof will be able to withstand it. You can contact a trustworthy, reputable contractor to check on the integrity of your roof.
4. Remember to clear the driveway and walkways regularly.
Yes, it’s a lot of work, but be sure that you’re clearing your driveway and walkways regularly. Snow can build up, and it can also result in ice. And ice, as you know, is very slippery. You don’t want to slip on your sidewalk or driveway, and you don’t want your guests to slip either.
5. Watch out for ice dams.
Ice what now?
Ice dams happen when leaves, snow, or ice build up in your gutter, causing the water to pool up. This water can then overflow and freeze, leaving icicles on your gutters. The water that’s melting in that pool behind the blockage can’t go anywhere, which is why it overflows and causes the dripping that turns into icicles.
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To keep this from happening, you need to have your gutters cleaned on a regular basis – ideally, for times a year. This can reduce the chance of an ice dam forming. However, keep an eye out for suspicious icicles – that could be a sign that you’ve got an ice dam situation. So, be aware of ice on the gutters!
6. Check your trees.
Be aware of tree branches as well – if there are any dead branches close to your house or other things that could get hurt if they fell, you might want to have them trimmed away. Falling trees aren’t fun. It’s probably best not to have any trees fall on things.
7. Be fire safe.
So, even though it’s cold outside, you need to think about fire safety. Make sure you have fire extinguishers and that your family knows how to use them. Review your family fire escape plan with everyone so that you’re all clear on what to do if your smoke detectors go off.
Speaking of smoke detectors, if your smoke alarms are wired into your electrical system, make sure they also have working back up batteries. You never know when the power could get knocked out.
8. Maintain your chimney.
So, nothing says winter quite like a roaring fire, hot cocoa, and s’mores. But you’ve got to think about getting your chimney cleaned and checked over by a trustworthy professional.
9. Don’t skip carbon monoxide detectors.
Also, don’t forget carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, and even tasteless gas that is highly dangerous. It can kill, and it’s not easy to know it’s there unless you have carbon monoxide detectors. Make sure you have a detector on every floor of the house in a central spot. You should have electric detectors that have battery backup. Keep your family safe from carbon monoxide.
10. Read your home insurance policy.
It’s also essential to read your home insurance policy. That way you know exactly what your insurance covers and what it doesn’t. You can see how your home insurance will handle certain losses and determine what your insurer will do in the event of a loss. You can also see what your responsibilities are as the insured if you have a loss. Anyways, review your policy and make sure your home insurance is ready for winter.
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