The cold is a-comin’! Winter is upon us and the chances are high that our area will experience some cold, icy, and stormy conditions. Severe weather can cause serious damage. Getting your home prepped and ready for the season is the best way to prevent damages and keep your home safe. Follow our guide to get your place in tip-top shape before those storms start rolling in.
- Keep cold air out by caulking and weather-striping doors and windows.
- Provide an extra layer of insulation with the installation of storm windows or by covering the inside of windows with plastic.
- Check walls and attics for adequate insulation.
- Trim back and cut away any tree branches that may fall on your home or other structures during a storm.
- Do a roof check for any leaks or other damages.
- Clean and clear out all gutters. Fix holes or other damages. Check for proper drainage from downspouts. Make sure water is moving away from the home, and add extenders if needed.
- Any fuel-burning equipment like wood stoves, fireplaces, kerosene heaters, etc. should be vented to the outside and kept clear.
- Make sure you have smoke and carbon monoxide detectors installed and that they are in working order. Replace batteries twice a year or as needed.
- Have a fire extinguisher nearby and be sure everyone knows how to use it properly.
- To make sure your heating system is functioning properly, change filters and have it checked by a qualified technician.
- If using a fireplace, make sure it has been properly cleaned, maintained, and inspected.
- Take proper care to prep pipes for freezing temperatures. Disconnect garden hoses and drain excess water. Winterize home sprinkler systems. In freezing temperatures, shut off water to outside faucets and drain excess water. Let cold water drip from a faucet to relieve pressure. Opening cabinet doors will also help with warm air circulation.
- Protect pipes with added insulation like foam pipe sleeves or insulation tape. Common areas to check are crawl spaces, basements, and attics.
- Know where water shut-off valves are located so that you know how to turn them off if there is a water emergency.
Winter storms will be blowing through soon, so it’s time to get your home in order. Preparing now will help you to avoid the possible dangers and damages that severe weather can bring.
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