Damaged caused during the winter has doubled in the last 20 years.
While it’s impossible to stop the weather, there are a lot of steps you can take to prevent other types of damage. Winter home preparation can make a huge difference for you and your family and it’s never too late to do it.
To understand the problem, we have to first take a look at the fact that our homes are vulnerable to cold temperatures. Cold itself can be damaging to homes that are not built or prepared for it.
Make Sure Rooms Are Insulated
Often new additions done by previous homeowners will lack insulation. This can cause serious problems. These problems include increased heating bills and potential damage to the structure of your home.
You can check to see if there is insulation in a room by using the touch test. Reach out and feel the wall during a cool day. The wall should be dry and warm to the touch. If it isn’t, then you are lacking insulation.
You can install insulation yourself. You must remove the drywall to access the inside of the wall. Then you can place insulation in the wall.
Contractors are also able to do the job as well. If you lack the tools for working with drywall or the experience, it can save time and money to contact a professional.
Make Sure to Change Your Air Filters
Every season you should be changing the filter on your HVAC system. Two common places where filters are found are in the air return vent inside your home and the furnace unit.
Having clean filters will help your heater run at a higher efficiency. A furnace or central heating unit that is operating effectively will help keep temperatures stable inside your home.
Putting in a filter is easy. Depending on what model of the system you have, the old filter needs to be slid out. The new filter will slide into place with ease without the need for additional tools. A screwdriver is your main weapon in this endeavor.
Prevent Winter Home Damage and Protect Your Pipes
Having stable temperatures is important but it’s difficult to reach every area of a house. During winter, many houses are damaged by bursting or frozen pipes. Water damage can be expensive to repair.
If you have vulnerable pipes inside your house, insulate them. Wrapping foam insulation can be done quickly and easily. Circular foam insulation can be purchased at the store. If it is not pre-cut, you need to use a razor to open up one side of the cylinder.
Place the foam tube around your pipe and make sure to cover all the connections and joints. This will protect your pipes from falling temperatures.
Drain your exterior faucets by shutting off the water and opening the line. Do this before it gets cold so that no water is still in the line to freeze during winter.
Make Sure Your Gutters Are Clear
Fallen leaves and plant debris can trap moisture. When the temperature drops, that moisture will freeze. This can increase the weight and strain on your guttering.
If too much water is present, it can cause your guttering to become damaged and potentially even break. Using a ladder and a broom to sweep out the gutters will save you a lot of headaches later.
Keeping guttering clear will also prevent ice from building up and blocking the guttering. If this happens, any additional snowmelt or ice will cause overflow that can damage your roof and ceiling.
Make Sure Your Windows and Doors Are Sealed
Drafting air will quickly cause the temperature in your house to fall. Apply caulk or weather stripping to doors and windows to protect against airflow.
Caulk can be used around the window frame to seal any holes. Purchase a caulking gun and a tube of caulk from your local hardware store. Applying caulk around the exterior of your home is quite easy. Simply squeeze the trigger and apply a steady, even line of caulk to any gaps that may have formed.
Doors can be sealed by weatherstripping. Weatherstripping can either be screwed onto a door or adhesive strips can stick to your door.
If using screws, then remember to measure and place your strips effectively. Gaps in your weatherstripping will render them ineffective.
Winterize Home Chimney and Sprinklers
If your home has a chimney, preparation to use it will be in order. Contact a chimney sweep to have your flu opened and cleaned. Cleaning the chimney will help you prevent fires and keep your house warm.
If your home has a sprinkler system, make sure it is drained and turned off. There are a few methods for draining your sprinkler system.
If you contact a professional, ask them what kind of system you have. They will either manually drain the system or use compressed air to blow out the water. If you attempt to do this yourself, make sure you take all the necessary safety precautions.
Divert Water Away from Your Home
While winter temperatures can often fall below freezing, they will not always be so. Any snow or ice that falls will turn into water sooner or later. Make sure that such water does not turn back into ice against your home.
If necessary, attach extensions onto your guttering. Make sure that water is deposited as far from your home as possible. These extensions are simple to install and usually slide over the existing guttering.
Taking Precautions Is Better Than Making Repairs
Because winter home damage is so common and preventable, you should take every precaution available. Make sure your exterior buildings, like garages and sheds, are also prepared for winter. Most of the same steps apply to them as do your home.
Making a winter home ready for the cold will save money, not cost it. Don’t expose yourself to potential injury and damage. Prepare your home as best and fast as you can. If you need help do not be afraid to contact professional contractors.
Acting quickly and being prepared will save you on home insurance premiums and repair bills. Contact us at Discount Filters if you need filters for either water or air systems. We will make sure you have what you need for a reasonable price.