With winter storms causing between one and two billion dollars of damage to homes each year, preparing your home for winter should be high on your list, especially for first-time homeowners. Winter prep can be daunting to someone who moved to a colder area from a warm climate, or someone who has been living in an apartment complex or rental and is now taking over the reins for the first time.
Picking up a winter home safety guide is a good start, but there’s more to how to prepare for winter than that. Keep reading for some tips that will help you start to prepare for the upcoming cold season and feel confident that you are ready.
- Fill in Space
As houses settle and age, cracks, gaps, and holes may appear that need to be filled. Reducing drafts is a good way to save money, as your home becomes more energy-efficient and easier to keep warm.
A door sweep at the bottom of all exits leading outside will seal the space between the threshold and door, keeping the warm air in.
- Check the Heat Source
The worst time to realize there is a problem with your main heating source is during a storm or bad freeze. Repair companies are overloaded with similar requests and the temperatures won’t work in your favor.
Deciding to hire a company to examine your heating system, tune it up and rule out any future issues for that year is a good investment towards your home and safety.
- Inspect the Roof
Checking for loose and broken shingles is an important step in preparing for winter. Winter storms bring in the wind, rain, snow, and even ice that can cause more damage if not taken care of.
You can check the roof yourself if you feel comfortable, but a contractor will be able to find even the smallest problems and repair them for you.
- Clean the Gutters
While the ice hanging from the gutters might look pretty with lights shining on them, they can be disastrous to homes as the weight can pull off the gutters. As the snow melts, it needs a place to go and gutters that are full of leaves, bird nests and other garbage will keep them from being able to do their job.
You can do this yourself with a ladder, bucket, and a hose. Remove the debris and then run water from the top of the gutter until the water runs smoothly.
You may want to consider adding extensions to any downspouts located around your home from the gutters so that the water runs further away from the home. This will help keep puddles of ice from building up around the foundation.
Winter Prep for Beginners
Whether it’s your first time needing winter prep or you’ve been doing it for years, learning new methods and reevaluating your system can’t hurt. Welcome winter with open arms and a ready home.
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