Winter weather can arrive with a bang and if your home is not prepared for the heavy snow and cold temperatures, various inconveniences and damages can occur. The expenses that can result from being unprepared can be steep, which is why we recommend winterizing your home well ahead of an icy blast.
Here, our experts have come up with a list of some areas around the house to focus on and some tips to help you winter-proof your home.
Insulate Doors, Windows and Attic
Inspect your home’s windows and take care of any gaps with caulking or weather-stripping seals to prevent moisture from getting in. By installing door sweeps on the bottom of all exterior doors, you will block cold outside air from getting inside your home. You can also avoid a great deal of heat loss by sealing your attic and making sure the insulation is at least 12 inches deep. This will help for future winters and assist in preventing ice and snow damage.
Turn Outside Faucets Off
In order to avoid a burst or frozen pipe, it is crucial that you turn off the water to outside faucets before winter arrives. Make sure you disconnect and store garden hoses and if possible open valves on these faucets to let any excess water drain out. If you have an outdoor sprinkler system, it should be shut down for the season and compressed air should be blown through the lines to clear them. Outdoor faucets can also be covered with styrofoam blocks for the season as an extra precaution for the taps themselves.
A burst pipe can cause a lot of damage. However, you can avoid this by ensuring your pipes (especially ones on exterior walls or inside cupboards) are adequately insulated. During extended cold periods, remember to open those cupboards a crack to allow warmer air to circulate. Some other materials you can use to insulate pipes include foam insulation sleeves, heating tape and fibreglass.
Inspect and Service Your Furnace
It is a great idea to schedule your annual furnace servicing in the fall so that you are certain everything is in good working order prior to heavy use during winter. Not only is efficiency important, but safety as well! An improperly-maintained furnace can produce dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide.
You should also ensure that your thermostat is functioning correctly, as well as that you change your furnace filter regularly during winter. Your furnace tends to be working overtime during these months, which means that the filter will need to be replaced more often.
Prepare Your Patio, Garden and Driveway
Clean your gutters and downspouts to prevent ice from forming inside of them. You should also ensure that downspouts do not empty right next to your house, as this can cause water to seep into your home’s foundation.
Pruning your trees is also a great preventative measure to help to avoid snow and ice from building up on branches and potentially snapping and falling onto your home and causing damage. We also recommend draining birdbaths and fountains, bringing container plants indoors, adding mulch to landscaped areas and cover plants that are prone to frost damage. You should always make sure that you are stocked up on rock salt or sand for when your driveway gets icy. We also recommend using a plastic snow shovel instead of a metal one, to avoid damage in the long run to your driveway itself.
We hope you enjoyed our winter-proofing tips! Planning ahead to winter proof your home will ensure you are ready when mother nature strikes, saving you big headaches and dollars each year.
Should you require any further assistance with making sure your home is kept safe during the winter months, our experts at Superior Exteriors are always happy to help. Contact us to learn more!