7 Steps to Make Sure Your Home Is Ready For Winter
As winter approaches, most of us begin to put away our shorts and sandals and bring out our cold-weather gear. But in addition to adjusting our wardrobes, we also need to prepare our homes for the arrival of snow, ice, and cold temperature. If you live in the uptown Dallas condos or anywhere else in the warmer southern climates, you don’t need to worry so much about the winter, but many homeowners across the country have multiple months of frightful weather to face each and every year, and they need to prepare their homes to ensure they can handle it. So how can you make sure that your home is ready for the winter? Here are 7 steps to make your home ready for winter:
- Make Sure Your Furnace Is Working
- Insulate Your Pipes
- Clean Out Your Gutters
- Add or Fix Weatherstripping
- Inspect Your Roof
- Drain or Blow Out Your Sprinklers and Hoses
- Check Out Your Bushes and Trees
In an effort to get your home ready, this blog post is going to go over a few different things to do and steps to take to prepare your home for the arrival of winter.
1. Make Sure Your Furnace Is Working
First and foremost, you need to make sure that your furnace is in working order. The furnace in your home plays a crucial role when it comes to keeping you warm and comfortable during the winter. But in order for it to do this, it needs to be operational.
While most of us simply expect our furnaces to be working well at all times, there is no guarantee that this will be the case. If you have ignored your furnace for years, there is a chance it might not work, or might not work as well as it could. This is why it is good to test the furnace before you actually need it on.
To ensure your furnace is operating properly, it is a good idea to have an expert come out and perform an annual inspection. They will check the various components and parts of the furnace, to make sure everything is in order. This ensures that you will have a warm and cozy home all winter, and don’t need to worry about being stuck with no heat.
In addition to this, make sure to change out the filter before winter, and make an effort to keep all vents and registers uncovered, so you don’t force the furnace to work harder than it needs.
2. Insulate Your Pipes
Another thing to consider is to insulate your water pipes. If you have exposed plumbing pipes somewhere in your home, such as the basement, it is important to protect them from the cold. If plumbing pipes are exposed in extreme cold, there is a chance that issues can arise.
These pipes can freeze, crack, and even burst, all of which can be awful for your plumbing (and your pocketbook). Making repairs, and cleaning up the water damage from the leak or burst pipe, can be a long and expensive journey.
Insulating the pipes is generally as easy as wrapping them up in a material to prevent them from getting as cold. Some of the most popular and common ways to protect plumbing pipes from the cold include using foam sleeves or wrapping the pipes with strips of insulation.
3. Add or Fix Weatherstripping
Making sure that your home has a tight seal from the outside is a good idea. If cold air easily finds its way into your home, it can make it quite uncomfortable and will send your heating bills skyrocketing. A good way to deal with those pesky little drafts is to improve your weatherstripping.
Weatherstripping can easily be put around doors and windows to allow a tighter seal and make sure even minuscule amounts of air are blocked. If you don’t have weatherstripping, it is a good idea to add some. If you already have it, but it has seen better days, consider fixing or replacing it.
This helps to keep your home warmer and is something very easy and affordable to do. In addition to weatherstripping, make an effort to locate and patch up any air leaks or gaps in your home, to keep the warm air inside, and the cool air outside.
4. Clean Out Your Gutters
Your gutters play an important role when it comes to keeping water away from your home. But in order for them to do their job correctly, they need to be cleaned out. If you allow them to get full of leaves and other debris, they can become clogged and water will get stuck and could simply overflow, which could cause water problems within your home.
While it is always important to keep your gutters clear, this is especially true before winter. This is because if water is allowed to sit and freeze in your gutters, it can do some serious damage to them. Not only is ice heavy, but it can often warp your gutters or leave them misshapen.
Make sure to clean your gutters around the end of fall and before winter, and confirm that water can flow freely. If not, you will likely need to replace or repair them, which can be expensive.
5. Inspect Your Roof
Next, you want to take time to inspect your roof before winter arrives. You need to check and make sure there are no leaks, no loose shingles, and no other glaring issues with the roof. If there is, you need to make an effort to call in a professional to handle it before the snow arrives.
Snow, ice, and other debris that winter brings can wreak havoc on a roof that isn’t in good shape. You want to ensure that your roof is strong and stable enough to handle all of the added weight of the snow, while also ensuring there are no leaks or lose shingles that will be able to introduce a major leak into your home once the snow melts in the spring.
6. Drain or Blow Out Your Sprinklers and Hoses
If you have an underground sprinkler system, and/or use hoses at all during the warm summer and spring months, it is important to get them blown out before winter. If you don’t, water will be allowed to sit in the system or hose, and will freeze.
This can cause a lot of damage, and lead to some pretty expensive repairs. Blowing out the system with air ensures that no water is left, so there is nothing to freeze. While there are ways to do this yourself, it often makes more sense to reach out to a professional company. It is a quick, easy, and affordable job, and won’t generally take experts more than an hour to complete the job. It should be done once a year, sometime in the fall before the temperatures begin to drop below freezing.
7. Check Out Your Bushes and Trees
Make an effort to look at the bushes and trees in your yard, as well. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, you need to identify any dead or loose branches on a tree and consider cutting them down.
The weight of the snow on these dead branches is often enough to snap them, which could lead to someone or something being hurt by the falling branch. Also, any branches or bush that is overgrown and resides close to your home or electrical wires could be a risk. A major storm can lead to these coming down and causing considerable damage to your house or yard.
In conclusion, we hope that this guide has been able to help you make sure that your home is ready for winter, and whatever the cold season throws your way.