It’s that time of year again. Time to winterize your home. Let’s avoid extra headaches this winter season by taking extra measures to winterize our homes.
It’s important to properly winterize your home both outside and inside. There are a several tasks that you should complete, before temperatures drop, to make sure you don’t have any problems during the winter months. Below are some of the most common tasks to complete before winter.
- Check roof
- Clean out gutters
- Remove tree limbs and debris away from home
- Winterize your HVAC system inside & out.
- Address window or door drafts
- Protect pipes
Check Your Roof
It’s very important before winter hits, that you inspect your roof. Contact a contractor that specializes in roofing. They will be able to assess the roof and recommend repairs or a full replacement. This can prevent more costly repairs. Missing shingles is a good sign to call a professional.
Roof issues are one of the most common home inspection findings in real estate and also can be one of the most expensive issues to fix. Ensuring that your roof is in good condition is an important to successfully winterize your home.
Clean Your Gutters
Gutters divert rain and storm water off the roof and away from the foundation. Gutters that have been neglected can also severely damage a home. If trees are close and hanging over the house, be sure so clear out gutters often. To properly winterize your home, it’s important to make sure your gutters are clear debris. Also, be sure the gutter is secure. Click here for How to thoroughly clean gutters.
Remove tree limbs and pull debris away from the house
Cutting back tree limbs at least 18 inches can insure branches do not damage the home’s exterior. High winds can add to the damage these branches can do to a home. Remove wood piles that are up against the house. This will prevent termites.
Clean Your Chimney
Another task to complete when you winterize your home is making sure your chimney is inspected and cleaned. A chimney is used most frequently during the cold winter months and it’s important to keep your home and your family safe, so be sure that it’s safe to use. It’s suggested that you hire a professional to clean and check your chimney.
Winterize Your HVAC System Inside and Out
Because I live in Texas, I do not turn off my air conditioning unit. It can be 100 degrees on Christmas day. However, if your home will be vacant during the winter months, I would recommend winterizing the system. Central air conditioning is a great feature to have in a home but also can be fairly expensive to repair in the event it’s not properly winterized.
The first step to properly winterizing your central air conditioning is to make sure all debris is cleared away from the outside unit. This includes all sticks, leaves, and bushes. If your central air conditioning unit has an electric box next to it, you should ensure it is switched to the off position.
Change the HVAC filter. The easiest step in the winterization of an HVAC system is a simple filter change. Another important step as you winterize your home is to make sure your thermostat is working properly. Be sure to replace the thermostat’s batteries before testing. Contact a licensed professional if you need more help.
Check For Drafts
One of the most important tasks to complete when winterizing the interior of your home is to check for drafts. The most obvious places to check for drafts inside your home are the windows and doors. In addition to your windows and doors, be sure to check your homes plumbing vents, furnace ducts, and attic openings for drafts.
The most common solution to fix a draft in your home is by installing weatherstripping. There are many different types of weatherstripping that can be used to prevent drafts in your home. Properly installing weatherstripping in your home is a great way to reduce drafts in your home during the winter months.
By winterizing your pipes, you will prevent broken pipes and lots of headaches.
Ask a professional for advice about how to best winterize pipes in freeze-prone areas. Pipes most likely to freeze include those located in your attic, unheated floors, unheated crawl spaces, unheated garages, well house, and under porches. Wrap all exposed pipes located outside or in unheated areas of the home. Remove garden hoses from outside faucets. Insulate outside faucets with Styrofoam covers or rags. If you have plumbing running through an unheated garage, insulate the door to keep that area as warm as possible.
When temperatures drop below freezing, open the faucets a tiny bit. Allow a trickle of water to run through the faucets. This relieves pressure if standing water in your pipes does freeze. Open cabinets under your sinks. Consider leaving bathroom vanity doors open so warm air from the room can circulate around the pipes.
Know where the cut-off valve is located and how to use it.
Knowing how to properly winterize a home is very important if you live in an area where you experience colder temperatures. The above tips on how to winterize your home should increase the chances that your home doesn’t experience damage during the winter.