5 Tips To Get Your Home Ready For Winter
It's that time of year! It's important to winterize your home and prepare it for the cold that is coming. Preventative maintenance is the key to making sure your home is good to go! Below are some key tips to help you out in doing so.
Tune Up Your Heating System
Have a technician (or if you're handy) inspect your furnace or heat pump to make sure it is cleaned up and working efficiently. If you get ahead of the game, you will minimize your chances of being one of many calling for repairs later in the year. Don't get stuck waiting in a cold home, check it out now and enjoy the warmth of your home all winter long.
Prep the Plumbing
Making sure your plumbing is in order is crucial to prepping your home for winter. Consider using heat tape during extremely cold weather on any pipes in your home that are prone to freezing. You'll also need to drain any water from your outdoor faucets and garden hoses as well as having any in-ground sprinkler pipes blown out. If worst comes to worst, make sure everyone in the home knows how to turn off the water at the source. This will help minimize leaking if a pipe bursts.
Check Your Roof
Check your roof, or at least scan it closely. You want to look for damaged, loose, or missing shingles because that could cause leaks during winter storms or from snow melting. You will also want to make sure to repair any damaged seals around vent stacks and chimneys as well.
Caulk Your Windows & Doors
HIf the gaps between the siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you'll need to reapply caulk. For the exterior, silicone caulk works best because it won't shrink and is not affected to the elements. Window-glazing putty works very well, too, as well as weather stripping around doors. The goal is to make sure you can't see daylight from inside your home around those areas.
Prevent Ice Dams
When heat escapes through the roof, the snow melts and flows to your roof's edge and refreezes causing an ice dam. A sure fire way to tell if you have a built up ice dam are icicles. If you have icicles hanging from your home, that can signal an ice dam underneath. One of the major issues with an ice dam is that the snow that later melts has nowhere to drain causing it to leak through your roof. A couple of preventative measures to avoid this are:
- Clean your gutter and downspouts. This will get rid of any clogs and allow water to run through properly.
- Seal around vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches, light fixtures, and any other openings that may allow warm air to leak from your home.
- You may need to install a rubberized ice and water shield beneath the roof shingles.
- A roofer can install a heat cable along the eaves to melt the ice.
- Adding additional insulation to your attic floor will help, too.