With the arrival of winter weather, it’s time to consider how to protect your home from the elements. The winter months can wreak havoc on our homes. The following is a list of steps to take to ensure your home is prepared to keep Old Man Winter at bay. If you would like a list of contractors who can assist you in your winter home protection endeavors, get in touch with us today!
- Have your furnace checked. Call an HVAC professional to come out and evaluate the functioning of your furnace and to change the filter, if needed.
- Clean all debris and leaves from your gutters and downspouts. Avoiding the formation of ice dams is crucial in allowing melting snow and ice to have an escape route from the roof.
- If you have a fireplace, have it inspected and cleaned. Ensure the damper is permitting proper air movement, and have all leftover residue and soot eradicated, to avoid the potential of it catching fire.
- Prevent pipes from freezing. Insulate all exposed piping, and wrap pipes near exterior walls with heating tape or pipe insulation. When the temperatures really drop, leave a small stream of water running from an interior faucet. You want to keep your house temperature at a minimum of 68 degrees even when you are away from your home. For more tips, please click here.
- Turn off all exterior water spigots. Drain and remove hoses to be stored for the winter.
- Make certain that you are aware of the location of all disconnects and shutoff valves to your home. These include water, gas and electricity. In case of an emergency you will need to shut off the source of the problem.
- Check your foundation for cracks. Repair and seal any cracks to prevent air drafts, or worsening of the problem.
- Check to make sure that all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Have back-up batteries if these devices are not hard-wired.
- Have an emergency winter kit packed, and stowed inside your home. The kit should include candles, matches, batteries, non-perishable foods, water bottles, emergency phone numbers, and a small first-aid kit.
- Keep your driveways and walkways free of snow and ice. Pre-salt, and shovel as needed.
- Reverse your interior ceiling fans to counterclockwise. This will stop the movement of cold air being pulled up, and will help circulate the warm air.
- Assess your insulation in your attic, garage, and your crawl space. Ensure there is an appropriate amount, and that it is properly intact.
Contact us if you would like a list of names and phone numbers of trusted and reputable professionals to assist you in accomplishing the items listed. Even though you can’t always predict what Jack Frost has in store from year to year, you can take precautions in protecting yourself and your home’s value.
Image courtesy of Doug Kerr/Flickr.com