This post was last updated on October 27th, 2022 at 06:11 am
Getting the house ready for winter might not be your top priority. After all, most people would rather enjoy the fall colors, savor pumpkin-flavored lattes or go apple-picking than winter-proof their home. However, the truth is that winter can be brutal for your house, especially if you live somewhere where it snows. Most US states get snow in the winter, and while watching the first snowfall of the season is magical, you need to be better prepared if you want it only to bring happiness to your home.
The mere thought of getting the house ready for winter can feel like an impossible task.
Tips To Prepare Your Home For The Winter
1. Inspect Fireplace
Depending on where you live, a fireplace is something you’d already have in your home. In a snowy state like Washington or Montana, you can’t get by winter without lighting up the fireplace in your home. The largest city in Montana, Billings, averages 46 inches of snow per year, so you’d want to be better prepared to cozy up in front of the fireplace before winter hits. If you don’t already have a fireplace in your home, look up fireplaces Billings MT, to find expert fireplace services to install a new fireplace. You can also count on these experts to update the one you have in your home.
Other than that, it is essential to check your fireplace’s condition and make any necessary repairs before bringing it out of hibernation.
To begin with, tidy up the area around your fireplace. During the extended durations between fire seasons, the space around the fireplace is prone to accumulating clutter. So you will want to ensure the area is clear of debris to prevent accidents. When lighting your first fire of the season, maintain a safe distance from any nearby furniture or rugs.
Besides you should also examine the structure of the chimney. Check for issues like creosote accumulation, broken or missing flue tiles, and damaged chimney caps.
2. Clean Your Gutters
Having functional gutters is essential for keeping water away from your house. During torrential downpours or intense snowstorms in winter, your gutters will most likely keep up with an increase in the flow of water and snow. Therefore, they must be free of obstructions and able to channel melting snow or water away from your house.
Assessing your downspouts is a smart approach to identifying how much cleaning your gutters require. Remember, this method is applicable only if your guttering systems can be accessed without risk. Following a visual check for excessive foliage and debris, you can use a hose to see if the downspouts are blocked. If that is the case, the water must be released gradually into the gutters to prevent further damage.
3. Trim Back Tree Limbs
Snowfall during the winter may be rather heavy, and if you combine that with an ice storm, even perfectly healthy tree branches are susceptible to snapping under the force. Weighted down by ice, branches could lead to structural damage to roofs and possibly cause injuries.
So if you have branches overhanging your property, trimming them back might reduce the risk of a limb falling on your roof. To ensure the safety of your property, consult a landscaping company or gardener if you cannot prune the trees yourself.
4. Lag Your Pipes
Homes are equipped with several pipes that carry water throughout the structure. Lagging refers to wrapping these pipes in insulating material to prevent heat loss. It will reduce heat loss to the environment, resulting in lower utility bills and less carbon dioxide released from your home. Insulating pipes also keeps pipes from freezing and bursting in the winter. It is imperative when the plumbing is installed in cold regions like loft rooms and garages.
Polyethylene foam is the most common type of lagging because it is inexpensive and a breeze to install. It fits snugly over the outside of a pipe and often has a slit running down one side.
5. Hit The Roof
Your roof may be keeping up with the repercussions of weathering, debris, aging, or moss, even if you cannot see them right away. Sometimes, things only pop up during an inspection that you would not have caught otherwise.
The winter climate is not kind to your roof. Water can seep inside and severely damage anything along the course. For the sake of your home’s overall structural stability, you should prioritize practicing proactive, preventative roof care.
It is essential to check the roof for damaged, loose, or missing shingles. If you need a few shingles fixed or a significant piece of your roof redone, call in a handyman or professional roofer. Pay close attention to the flashing as part of your roof maintenance. Roof flashing tends to loosen and bend over time, leaving the roof vulnerable to the weight of snow and ice.
Since leaves and pine needles collect moisture, rake or blow them off your asphalt and pebble roof in the fall. Avoid brushing aside the pebbles, as doing so may expose the asphalt to sun damage.
6. Protect Outdoor Water Sources
Before the first frost, drain and put away any sprinklers or garden hoses to prevent them from freezing and bursting. To access the water supply for your hose bibs, turn off the water supply valve within your home or basement that feeds the line, and then open the spigot outside. Simply turning off the water supply can lead to frozen water expanding inside the pipe and bursting.
7. Install Storm Windows
Take down all window screens and put them away. You may create an insulating air barrier between your regular windows and the chilly air outside by installing glass storm windows. Even if you already have double-paned windows, these will add another layer of defense against severe precipitation.
If you take the time to winterize your home and do routine maintenance, you may be able to lessen the damage your house experiences from winter storms or prevent any damage from occurring. In addition, after taking these precautions, you may feel better prepared to face the colder months ahead.