How To Prepare Your Home for Winter

How To Prepare Your Home For Winter 

Extreme winter weather can now cost over a billion dollars in damages across the country, so it’s important to make sure your house is winterized to save money on repairs next spring. But it’s not always so easy to know what to do and what to look for to ensure your home – and the people in it – are protected. With that in mind, read on for some useful ideas. 

Photo by James Frid

Prepare your home for the coming winter weather now to avoid any unpleasant surprises. Closely inspect all of the doors and windows to ensure that there are no drafty spots. If the situation is bad enough, you may want to replace the windows or doors rather than relying on weatherstripping or caulk.

In order to prevent floods and other damages caused by frozen pipes, it is important to turn off the water supply to the external pipes and drain their contents before winter sets in. Also, if you have any water pipes that are located along an outside wall, you should insulate them with heating tape before winter arrives. This will help you save money and energy by limiting heat loss through the plumbing system, and it will minimize the chances of a pipe bursting and flooding your home. 

It’s important to clean out your gutters, downspouts, and drains before the winter rains (or snow) come to avoid having them become clogged. Repair or replace damaged gutters to keep water from seeping into your walls, limiting the lifespan of your roof and the probability of mold growth within your home.

Checking your roof is another thing to do when it’s cold. You probably don’t think about doing this very often, but winter storms can really damage even small cracks. Look for shingles that are bent or cracked and check to see if any are missing. A professional should fix any damage to your shingles as soon as possible. If your roof needs replacing, consider metal roofs, as they tend to last much longer and are therefore better value for money. 

Your dryer will certainly see increased use as the cooler months arrive. With over 15,000 fires started each year by tumble dryers, it’s clear that taking precautions is essential. To lessen the possibility of a fire and to increase the dryer’s performance, it is important to regularly clean out the lint that collects in the machine.

Lint filters must be cleaned regularly, and it’s not a difficult task. Simply slide out the filter and remove the lint with a scraper. Vacuuming out the lint trap is another option. 

A clogged chimney, like a clogged dryer vent, can cause not only fires but also carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s not cheap to have a chimney inspected and swept every year but doing so could save your life in the long run. At the same time, you can verify the chimney’s flue is in good working order to prevent drafts while the fireplace is not in use.

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