The varying temperatures we experience during a year can have quite an effect on your home, especially if you’re not keeping everything properly maintained. With colder weather right around the corner, we want you to stay warm and your house to stay in great condition. The best way to avoid freezing pipes and other winter damage is to take a few precautionary steps to winterize a house.
Here are our six tips for the coming winter:
1. Inspect Your Fireplace
Everyone wants to be able to curl up in front of the fire during the winter but not at the expense of your house catching on fire. Improperly maintained chimneys are a huge fire hazard and getting your chimney inspected every year can help prevent disaster, as well as make your fireplace more enjoyable to use.
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, have a chimney sweep come out ideally every year to check for any damage or obstructions and to give your chimney a thorough cleaning. With a gas fireplace, you should still have it inspected to make sure the venting is still in good condition and that the gas and flames are in proper working order.
2. Inspect Your HVAC
Everything in your home will last a lot longer with proper maintenance! That’s a theme for this post. Have your HVAC system and furnace inspected every year to make sure it’s working properly and efficiently.
These systems need routine maintenance to continue to work well and a qualified contractor can come out to your home and do a quick inspection to make sure you’re good to go for the year. This costs you upfront but it will help maintain and extend the life of your unit.
When a contractor completes an inspection, they offer full service including cleaning the coils, etc. This makes a huge difference in its efficiency, aka your utility bill!
3. Unhook Your Water Hose
It’s important to unhook your outdoor water hoses to prevent your pipes from freezing. We recommend starting in early- to mid-fall. This doesn’t mean you can’t use your hose, just be sure to unhook it when you are finished. Your spigot may or may not be frost-proof, depending on when your home was built, but even with a frost-proof spout, a hose can prevent it from draining properly and cause freezing. Ice in the pipe can lead to busted plumbing.
4. Seal Your Concrete
You may notice in the winter that spalling can occur. This sometimes happens when salt from your car falls off onto the concrete and gets into the outer layer. Sealing your concrete properly can prevent this from happening. You can also seal your brick walkways, etc. if spalling occurs, but you may need to check with the manufacturer first. Some kinds of brick do not work with the concrete sealers.
5. Inspect Your Windows
The caulking around your windows is constructed to expand and contract throughout the year, but it’s important to check it yearly to make sure there are no holes. Holes in your caulk can make it easier for bugs to get into your home, as well as water and cold air. Properly caulked windows are better for energy efficiency and will help prevent leaks in your home.
6. Clean Your Gutters
Your gutters, even with guards, should be cleaned a few times a year. It is especially important to get them cleaned out before the temperatures dip too low. If there is any debris in your drain, this can cause the drain to not work properly and freeze.
With these simple tips, you can winterize a house for colder weather this year. Maintaining your home properly can prevent all kinds of damage and make you both safer and more comfortable. Avoid extra stress this year with preventive inspections, cleanings, and repairs. To learn more about how to winterize your home, check out this video.