Discover how you can protect your home from the harsh temperatures and conditions that cold weather brings.
Clean your gutters
According to Farmers.com, cleaning out your gutters is an important step to prepare your home for winter. Clogged gutters are more prone to freezing in cold weather.
Furthermore, if gutters are blocked, melting snow and ice could flood the foundation of your house or create a leak in your roof. Clean gutters can go a long way in preventing wintertime destruction to your home.
Invest in the right tools
Make sure your garage is well stocked with snow- and ice-clearing items. Travelers.com suggests having a roof rake to clear snow from the roof. A couple of snow shovels will help you to keep your driveway clear.
Another useful tool to stock up on is salt or an alternative ice melting compound; gathering these items now will ensure that you have them on-hand before inclement weather hits.
Stock up on the essentials
Winter weather sometimes triggers snow-ins and blackouts. Make sure your home has the necessary supplies and food you’ll need to ride out the storm for a few days if necessary.
Statefarm.com suggests compiling a collection of the following: blankets, bottled water, flashlights, first aid kit and canned food. A battery backup for your computer and electronics is another useful investment. You should also write down the phone numbers for the utility company you use.
Pre-winter yard care
According to Statefarm.com, keeping a tidy lawn can help your house stay protected against winter’s weather. Before the cold weather sets in, trim any tree or shrub branches that are near your house. This will minimize the chance of any icy branches breaking and damaging your roof or a window.
Insulate and ventilate your attic
Because your house can vent its heat through the attic, this can lead to melting and refreezing the snow and ice on your roof. Resulting ice dams can trigger more snow and ice buildup, which harm your roof. To prevent these problems, Farmers.com suggests you evaluate your attic to make sure chimneys, light fixtures, pipes and vents are well insulated.
Ventilation is just as important because it allows cooler air from outside inside the attic to help prevent warm air from melting and refreezing water on your roof. Before winter, inspect your attic to make sure it is properly ventilated. If it doesn’t have a ventilation system, contact a contractor to install one before winter sets in.
Protect your pipes
Frozen pipes are one of the most costly damages that occur during winter. Travelers.com advises that you make sure you know how to shut off your water; it’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the exact location of your pipes in case they freeze.
There are some preventative measures you can take to avoid frozen pipes in the first place, however. Farmers.com recommends caulking holes and cracks in your walls to protect your pipes from cold air that might leak in. Inspect your pipes especially in more exposed areas like attics, garages and crawl spaces. Travelers.com advises that you insulate the pipes in these areas with UL-Listed heat tape available at your local hardware store.
Maintain your pipes
During extremely cold weather, Statefarm.com advises letting faucets drip, which will help keep your pipes from freezing. Leave cabinet doors open to let warm air come in contact with under-the-sink pipes in your kitchen and bathroom areas.
With these strategies, you will help shield your house from damages so you can enjoy a warm, dry residence this winter.