Cold winter weather has the potential to cause many problems in a home. Homeowners will want to take the time to protect the house and prepare the home for the harsh cold weather conditions. There are five important things to do in the home to prepare for the winter.
Clean the Gutters
Homeowners will want to clean all the outside gutters before freezing weather starts. Debris like leaves can block the flow of water and cause ice dams. Ice dams can quickly damage the fascia and other parts of the roof creating an entryway for moisture, pests and cold air. The connections between the gutters and downspouts should be checked as well to make sure there are no leaks.
The attic plays an important role in the comfort and efficiency of a home during the winter. The attic should be sealed. Any insulation that has become frayed or damaged should be replaced as soon as possible. It can even help to add additional layers of loose fill insulation, radiant barriers or fiberglass insulation panels to help protect the home from cold weather. This makes the heating system more efficient as well.
Check Doors and Windows
The doors and windows in a home should be checked to make sure they are sealed and secure. The weather-stripping around doors should be checked and replaced if necessary. Old or drafty windows should be replaced. window replacement can decrease heating bills and prevent energy loss during the winter. Homeowners will also want to seal or replace sliding doors that allow drafts to enter. Replacing inefficient windows and doors will significantly improve the comfort and security of a home.
Prepare the Furnace or Heating System
The heating system should be inspected by a professional before winter starts. Professional maintenance will ensure every part is working correctly and efficiently. This maintenance should include cleaning of the ductwork in the house. Cleaning the ductwork will improve air quality and the effectiveness of the heating system.
Bring In Items from The Outside
Homeowners should bring items from the lawn and yard inside when the cold weather starts. Garden hoses, fixtures like birdbaths and some patio furniture can all be damaged by freezing water and cold weather. The cold can even make plastic brittle. It is best to store these items inside until the spring.
Homeowners will want to examine the areas just outside the walls of the home for potential problems. Water landing less than six feet from the home could freeze and cause damage to walls or the foundation. It is important to adjust downspouts or use extenders to keep water away from the home in the winter.