Last updated on October 28, 2019 at 10:26 am
Winter can take a serious toll on a house. It’s not uncommon for snow, ice and freezing temperatures to cause billions of dollars in damage to homes across the country each year. The risks include frozen pipes, roof collapses, ice dams and more. There are several things you can do to help ward off these risks, while also saving energy and money. Here are six easy home winterization tips you can start this weekend.
Pack It In
Remove window air conditioning units or cover the top of your central air conditioner. You should also drain and store any garden hoses and turn off outdoor water spigots.
Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frigid temperatures can lead to frozen pipes. Make sure your furnace is working properly and that you take steps to protect pipes most vulnerable to freezing (usually the ones that run close to exterior walls). Consider using these other tips to prevent frozen pipes, too.
Leave winter outside by sealing cracks and drafty entrances or windows. With an abundance of care and caution, you can use an incense stick to locate drafts. First, turn off all appliances and fans to minimize airflow disruption. Next, hold your incense near potential problem spots (like windows and doors) and watch for movement. Once you have found your trouble spots, remedy them with caulk, caulking cord or weather stripping.
Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams happen when warm air inside your home leaks into your attic. The underside of your roof heats up causing snow and ice to melt. That melt can freeze when it reaches a cold overhang, which can prevent water from running off. The water can back up under your shingles and possibly find a way into your attic and, even worse, drain onto the walls and ceilings below. Here’s what to do to prevent ice dams.
Mind Your Gutters
Before the icy and snowy season really settles in, make sure your gutters aren’t stuffed with fall leaves. If you’re not comfortable getting on a ladder to clean your gutters, hire a professional.
Clean Your Chimney
Be sure to properly maintain your chimney to avoid fires. The Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends that you have chimneys, fireplaces and vents inspected annually and cleaned or repaired, if necessary. If your home uses a gas furnace for heat you should have it inspected for blockages or other debris. This task is best left to a professional, so use the weekend to find a service and call for an appointment.
Help everyone get ready for winter by sharing your own home winterization tips in the comments.
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