Let it Snow: Winter Home Maintenance Tips
Winter can be tough on your home, from the snow and ice forming on the exterior, to heater failures or pipes freezing. Here are some tips for each aspect of your home’s protection so you can keep your family warm all winter long.
Heaters and fireplaces are the most important tools to warming your home. Have a professional come and check yours if you think there might be a problem.
Some tips for using your heater effectively: Maintain a minimum of 19 degrees in your home, even if you love the cold. In addition, instead of closing off unused rooms to the house like attics or pantries, open the doors to allow heat to flow easily around the entire home.
Insulation is the last line of attack standing between your family and the blustering winds of winter. If your insulation isn’t doing the job, it’s time to inspect and install a more successful layer. If your insulation is in good shape, but you’re still feeling the winter breeze inside, take a caulk gun to the edges on your windows and doors to prevent cold air from getting in.
The attic is an important place often overlooked. Aside from leaving the top layer of your house unprotected, heat escaping can easily form ice dams, which can cause leaks. Make sure to protect the attic, even if no one in your family spends time there.
Any exposed pipes located in unheated areas of the home — such as garages — should be wrapped with heat tape or insulated before the temperature drops. If your pipes run through walls on the exterior of your home, make sure to double and triple check your insulation. Always be prepared and take precautions to learn how to shut off your pipes just in case freezing occurs.
And it’s not just your indoor pipes you need to take care of. Undrained water in your exterior faucets can freeze and cause pipes to burst. Turn off the valve before it gets too cold.
Trees in your yard with dead branches can become safety hazards in the winter months. Be sure to cut down any branches that hang over your home, or hire someone to remove them for you.
It is also important to clear out your gutters before snow falls or ice forms to make sure that melting water drains and doesn’t cause leaks in your siding.
Equip your home with all of the supplies you need before it gets too cold and snowy. Make sure that you have easy access to snow shovels, or a snow blower, and that your generator is running smoothly. You’ll also want to keep extra fuel for your snow blower on hand in case you run out during the winter months.
To ensure an easy (and warm) winter, take the time to prepare your home for the coming months. Winter can be tough, but you don’t have to let the weather ruin your season. Follow these tips to stay cozy from now until spring.