With winter right around the corner, it is time to start looking for ways to get your house ready for the harsh temperatures and snow. To ensure your house will be properly prepared for the upcoming weather changes, here are a few winter preparation steps that you should take.
A burst pipe can result in thousands of dollars in damage. Therefore, it is important to take steps to protect your pipes in order to prevent this from happening. Pipe insulation, which can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot, can be easily installed around exposed copper or PVC water pipe. The insulation can be used under sinks, in crawl spaces, in attics and on pipes running along interior walls. Be sure to pay particular attention to pipes located in basements, as this is where 37 percent of all burst pipes occur.
In addition to insulating your pipes, you should also be sure your attic and crawl space is adequately insulated. Remember that the goal is to keep the heat in your home rather than in your attic. Not only is this more energy-efficient, but it will also help to prevent the formation of ice dams on your roof.
Prepare Your Windows
Windows can be a massive source of energy loss, so you should be sure to prepare them for the upcoming winter months. This includes removing and storing all window screens and then installing glass storm windows in order to create an insulating layer of air between your windows. This also provides an added layer of protection against snow during heavy storms.
As you switch out your windows, be sure to also check the caulk to ensure there are no leaks around your windows. If any leaks are present, reseal as necessary.
Service the Furnace
Furnaces and other heating equipment, such as chimneys and fireplaces, should be serviced on an annual basis. Not only does this ensure they are functioning properly, but it also helps to increase the safety of these items. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, chimneys, fireplaces, and heating equipment are amongst the biggest causes of home fires. Regularly service can help prevent this from happening.
Inspect the Room and Shingles
Loose, damaged and missing shingles should be repaired and replaced before winter hits. Failure to do so can lead to leaks and more extensive roof damage. While you are inspecting your roof, be sure to also clean and inspect your gutters. Clogged gutters can backup and become frozen once cooler temperatures hit. Keeping your gutters clear will allow melting snow to run off your roof and through the downspouts.
Before the snow hits, you need to give your trees one last trim from the year. Dead branches covered with snow can easily snap, causing damage to property and potentially injuring those who are on it. Remove dead or ailing limbs beforehand in order to prevent this from happening.