Another year, another harsh winter. Since winter can inflict a lot of damage on a home, we came up with a list of ways you can prepare your home for winter. Specifically, twelve ways you can avoid harsh utility bills, bad winter weather damage, and issues with insurance companies.
12 Ways You Can Prepare For Winter
- Tune up your heating system – One way to prevent a shocking utility bill or future heating problems is to get your heating system checked out BEFORE winter gets started. A professional technician can inspect your furnace/heat pump to make sure your system is ready for the cold. This could save you from disastrous repairs during winter, when many others are waiting for a repair to their heating system.
- Prevent Ice Dams – Ice dams are a huge pain and it’s better to prevent them before they get started than try to fix them afterwards. The best way to prevent ice dams is making sure your attic’s insulation is situated correctly. Proper insulation will prevent the formation of ice dams on the roof.
- Check Out The Roof – If you can, go on the roof and check the shingles. Make sure there aren’t any loose or missing shingles and if there are, get a professional roofer such as Accord Construction, Inc. to fix them. Also check out your roof for any previous storm damage. Make sure to check the flashing on your roof, specifically around the chimneys. Flashing prevents melting ice and snow (or rain) from getting into your house’s structure.
- Caulk Around Windows and Doors – To prevent heat from escaping and to prevent cold air from getting into your home, it’d be good to caulk your windows and doors, especially if the gaps between the siding and the window/door frames are fairly wide. You should apply exterior caulk if that’s the case.
- Clean Gutters – When you’re on the roof, make sure to also check out the gutters. Clean them out with a hose, a brush, or gloves. Just make sure to remove all the debris that’s in the way of the gutter and make sure no pieces of your gutter are broken or bent away from your house.
- Divert Water – Along with clearing out your gutter, it would be smart to add extensions to your downspouts. This is to prevent water from sinking into your foundation. If you add extensions, that water will run at least 3 feet away from the foundation of your house.
- Deal with Pipes and Faucets – If water is lingering in your pipes during winter, and it’s very, very cold, the pipes can freeze and then burst. Pipes burst because ice expands. If your pipes aren’t frost proofed and you’re about to experience a terrible cold spell, you should either run water out of all your interior faucets or turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.
- Drain Your Irrigation System – If you have an irrigation system built into your yard, you’ll want to drain the system so the pipes don’t burst in your yard during cold temperatures. To do this properly, you’ll probably need a professional. They can fully drain the system.
- Mulch Your Leaves When You Mow – Since it’s fall, your yard is probably full of annoying leaves. It might actually be easier to just mow your leaves instead of raking them! Make sure you do this when the leaves are dry. Once the leaves are all cut up by the mower’s blades, they’ll decompose and nourish your lawn during the winter.
- Use Up Your Mower Fuel – Another thing you need to do with your mower is to make sure that you remove the fuel from it. If you allow it to just sit in the mower over the winter, the fuel will decompose in the engine making it difficult for it start up the next time you need it. Check your mower’s manual for more details on cold-weather storage!
- Restock Essentials – Make sure to purchase necessary winter materials such as salt, ice melt, and of course car scrapers and shovels! It’s better to have too much than too little.
- Cover Your Plants and Flowers – Before winter gets started, it’s a good idea to cover up your plants and flowers to prevent them from freezing in the cold. You can use tarps, blankets, insulators, or burlap – there are many different options. Make sure to also give your plants water before winter shows up. Unwrap the plants in the spring, but make sure not to do it too early! An early spring frost could damage your plants and flowers.
At Accord Construction, Inc., we can help you prepare for bad winter weather. Whether you need us to check your flashing or shingles, we can make sure your roof is ready for winter weather. Call us at at (405) 302-5520 for more information on how we can help you prepare for the winter season.