With winter just around the corner, homeowners should start preparing their homes to avoid getting caught flat-footed when the cold season comes. Proper preparation allows them to avoid issues when a winter storm comes.
Preparing for winter weather also allows you to safeguard the health of everyone in the household. The pandemic highlighted the importance of staying healthy, especially during winter. Here are some things you should do to prepare your home for winter weather.
Check the Front and Back Yard of the House
The first thing you should do is to check the front and back yard of the house. You should look for tree branches hanging close to the house and power lines. These are potential issues since they will break during a major winter storm and cause major damage to the house.
You should also aerate the lawn and apply fertilizer to prepare it for winter and allow it to grow during spring. If you do not know how to do this, you should contact a company offering lawn care services. These companies have the equipment and expertise to prepare the front yard for winter. They also know about preparing these areas for spring by reseeding and fertilizing them to boost the growth of roots when spring comes.
You should also make sure that snow and rain drain away from your house. Doing this protects the foundation of the house. You should make sure the ground slopes away from the house. If it’s necessary, you should add soil to ensure water flows away from the house.
Protect Outdoor Pipes
Insulating outdoor pipes is also important to prevent them from getting damaged during the cold season. When the water inside these pipes freezes, it will expand. In this situation, the pipes will burst as frozen water expands.
Aside from insulating outdoor pipes, another option is to shut off outdoor faucets and drain outdoor pipes and sprinkler heads. This protects them from bursting since they will have no water for the cold weather to freeze.
If you have hoses attached to outdoor faucets, you should remove them and store them in a safe place inside the house to make them last longer.
Check the Porch and the Deck
You should also check the porch and deck of the house. Look for decay, insect damage, or signs of splintering. You should fix them before winter comes to prevent them from deteriorating further.
To reduce the risk of accidents outside the home, you should ensure your outdoor lighting is functioning properly. Make sure they are winter-ready to prevent damage during the cold season.
You should also clean patio furniture and store them inside the garage or a shed to protect them. If you do not have space inside the garage, you should make sure they are dry before covering them with a durable tarp.
Inspect the Doors and Windows
When winter comes, you should prevent heat from leaving the house. To do this, you should look for drafts around the doors and windows. If necessary, you should caulk these areas to prevent heat loss. You should also check the weatherstripping in these areas and replace them if they are not preventing heat from escaping.
You should also make sure to replace all window screens in the house with storm windows. Similarly, storm windows are better at protecting the house from winter weather compared to ordinary screen doors. You should also repair or replace any windows that have cracks or gaps on them.
Prepare the Heating System
The heating system is the most important piece of equipment in your home. So, you should make sure to prepare it for winter. Making sure the flue system and firebox are clean prevents them from becoming fire hazards.
If you have a fireplace in the house, you should check for drafts. You should also make sure that the damper is not worn out or warped. If the fireplace is cold even if you closed the damper, you should check the damper and replace it if necessary.
You should also clean the air filter in the furnace to ensure it functions properly. A clean air filter also improves indoor air quality. To improve the heating efficiency of a hot water radiator, you should bleed its valves to release the air trapped inside them.
You should also remove sediment from the hot water tank by flushing it. Replacing an old thermostat with a programmable model allows you to save on heating expenses.
Preparing the home for winter is essential to safeguard the health of all household members, which is essential at this point since the pandemic is not yet over.