If you live in a place that is characterized by extreme conditions like extremely low temperatures in the winter, you need to prepare your home for this season. It may be exhausting to prepare for winter, but you will be thankful that you did when the cold sets in, and your home is all prepared and ready for the stormy season. You need to take different factors into account when preparing your home for the coming winter. Read on to learn some of the ingenious ways that you can consider to prepare your home for harsh winter conditions.
Exposed pipes quickly lose heat as the water moves from the hot water tank to different places inside your home. You should make sure that all hot water pipes that run from the geyser are insulated to prevent heat loss. Insulate all the pipes in the crawl space or basement by covering them with foam sleeves. There are different types of insulation foams that you can get from the hardware stores in your local area. All you need to do is measure the pipes’ lengths and diameters and talk to a professional at your local hardware.
Exposed pipes can also be a potential hazard in your home. Water can freeze inside the pipes if the temperatures reach extremely low levels, which can be really dangerous. For instance, when the temperatures drop to about 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the water can freeze, and this will lead to damages to the pipes. Therefore, you should make sure that all the pipes in unheated areas are properly insulated. Get the right insulation material to protect the water pipes against extremely low temperatures.
Make Sure you Have a Working Fireplace
If you have a wood-burning fireplace in your home, make sure that it is properly cleaned. You also need to ensure that a certified chimney inspector inspects it annually to prevent the build-up of creosote. Soot inside your chimney is also dangerous since it can ignite and cause a fire that damages your property. Excessive soot and creosote can be unsightly inside your house, and it can also produce a bad smell.
To protect yourself and your family against the freezing winter weather, you need to buy the appropriate type of firewood. The people at Buy Firewood Direct say that there are different kinds of dried logs that you can choose from, so you need to find the right one for your fireplace. If you use electricity as your primary source of energy, you should ensure that you have a fireplace that you can use as a substitute in case of a power outage. The good thing about wood fire is that it can keep your house warm for extended periods. More importantly, you will save a lot of money on energy bills.
Inspect the Tree Branches
Make sure you remove all the overhanging tree branches around your property, garage, or power lines. During a storm, these branches can cause catastrophic damage to your roof or other valuable items. You should call an arborist to remove all the branches around your property. The problem with overhanging tree branches is that they can snap off and cause damages to your property. Overhanging tree branches on power lines can pose a great threat to your safety if they snap and disrupt the supply of electricity. If you suspect that you may experience snow, it is also essential to use a tarp to cover your faucets and grill.
You should also consult a landscape professional to maintain your yard in good appearance during the winter. You can trim your plants and hedge to make your garden look tidier. The other benefit of trimming your garden is that it helps eliminate potential insects that can be harmful. Such creatures can get a nice hideout when there is the overgrowth in your garden.
Block all Cracks and Drafts
You must check for cracks or drafts around your property and make sure you use paintable caulking to seal them. There are different methods that you can use to search for drafts on your property. For instance, you can use a lit candle around the windowsill where drafts are common. If the light flickers, it means that there is a draft. When you eliminate cracks, you increase your home’s energy efficiency. Properly sealed homes also help to prevent heat from escaping, thereby making the interior comfortable.
You also need to check your doors for cold air leaks using a laser infrared thermal gun. When you identify places with cracks, you must install weatherstripping inside the door frame. You must look for the right product at your local hardware. Make sure that the products come with installation instructions. You can call your local contractor if you cannot perform the task.
Clean out the Gutters
If your gutters are clogged with leaves and other unwanted debris, you should clean them before the onset of the winter season. The debris in your gutter can freeze into a big mass, and it can also get under the roof tiles and damage your roof. All you need to do is to get a tall ladder and remove all the dead leaves from the gutters to ensure that water can move freely. A leaf blower can also help you to speed up the process of cleaning your gutters. You can also call a handyman to help you clean your gutters if you do not have the right equipment.
If your gutters are showing signs of aging, it will be a good idea to consider replacing them before they cause structural damage to your property. Water spilling from the gutters goes directly to the walls and ends up on the foundation. As a result, you can end up experiencing issues like cracks on the foundation and basement. Repairing such damages can be very expensive, and they can ruin your house.
Keep Door Locks from Freezing
If you live in extremely cold climates, you must use powdered-graphite lubricant on your door locks. This type of powder helps to lubricate the pins inside the lock so that they will not stick. You can do this at least once every season and make sure you buy the right product from your local hardware.
Drain the Sprinklers
If you have a sprinkler system on your property, you must ensure that you drain all the residual water inside the pipes to prevent freezing. When the water inside the pipes freezes, the pipes will expand and ultimately crack. You should hire a professional plumber to blow all the water residuals inside the pipes using compressed air. If you want to do it yourself, then you must follow all the instructions. Make sure that you shut the water source and follow all the instructions. Allow all the water to drain from the pipes and keep the source of water shut to prevent damage. If you are not using the irrigation system during winter, you can disconnect it to ensure that your pipes are protected.
Mulch the Flower Beds
The exterior of your house can also be severely impacted by the harsh winter conditions. Mulching your flower beds can go a long way in regulating the changes that may take place in the soil. A layer of hardwood mulch to your flower bed can insulate the plants against the biting temperatures in winter. Plant roots are vulnerable to low temperatures and are likely to die quickly if they are exposed to excessive moisture.
Seal the Attic
Air leaks in the attic can cause heat loss which can affect the level of warmth and comfort in your home. Therefore, you must try to find all the gaps in your attic and make sure that you properly seal them. Warm air escapes through the attic, so insulation helps to keep it inside your home. On top of that, a properly sealed attic will help prevent cold air from getting inside your home. You should also ensure that the basement or the crawl space is insulated. You need to hire a professional since these places are not easy to insulate if you are a beginner.
Have the Furnace Checked
You must hire an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) technician, to perform a proper inspection of your furnace and boiler to ensure that they are working efficiently and safely. To ensure that your system is running efficiently, you must replace the filters when they turn dark. Clogged filters can shorten the lifespan of your furnace, and it can be costly to replace them. Therefore, you must replace the filters at least once every three to six months. When you get a filter for your furnace, you should take a sample so that you buy the right one.
Additionally, you should also seal all the furnace ducts to ensure that no heat is lost as a result of leaks. If you have a leaky heating system, it means that it may be challenging to keep your home warm. You will also experience higher utility bills which can affect your savings. Appliances like furnaces and water heaters can contribute to the buildup of toxic gases like carbon monoxide. The buildup of such gases is called a backdraft, so you must reduce the risk by sealing all leaks in your HVAC system. While you may not be able to reach all the ducts, it is essential to seal all the exposed pipes to avoid heat loss. You need to use metal tape or mastic sealant to block all the places where the ducts and other connections meet.
Utilize Window Coverings
Blinds, curtains, shapes, and drapes can provide insulation to your home. You can conserve heat in your home by drawing all the coverings on the windows. When there is sunshine, you can open the window coverings to trap light. This will help you to save energy by not using an HVAC system. There are also special curtains that are meant for the winter season, and these are thick and made of warm material. You can also get special blinds that are designed to retain heat inside your home.
Replaced Damaged Tiles
You should replace all the damaged or slipped roof tiles. Roof repairs will help prevent leaks that can contribute to the deterioration of your structure. It is also crucial to check for all missing tiles on your roof. A damaged roof can lead to leaks, and it also permits cool air to penetrate your property. Snow can also damage the roof tiles on your property which can affect the ceiling.
Protect Your Windows
Flying debris and other freezing conditions in a winter storm can damage your windows. Therefore, it is essential to protect your windows, and you can achieve this by using storm shutters to tap all the plastic sheets. You can also consider hurricane films on your windows since they prevent the impact of snowflakes on your windows. A plastic cover is also ideal for climate conditions that are often characterized by bad winter storms.
Check Your Smoke Detector
It is crucial to install a smoke detector in your home to monitor the level of smoke during winter. Your house will be sealed most of the time during winter, and this leads to more trapping of carbon monoxide since many people make fires to warm their homes. As a result, deaths due to factors like poisoning from carbon monoxide and other toxic gasses tend to increase during the winter period. Therefore, smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be in good working condition.
The winter season is usually characterized by freezing weather and storms. That’s why it is essential to prepare your home for the harsh weather so that you can enjoy maximum comfort. There are different steps that you can take to prepare your house for winter, but the most effective ones include. making sure your house is properly insulated, and that the heating, ventilation, and cooling systems are in good working condition. You also need to make sure that your fireplace is working properly.