How to Prepare Your Home for Winter – an Easy-to-Follow Guide

Winter comes with rain, sleet and ice that do not only affect humans but your structures as well. With some effort, you can avoid most problems before they begin. The following tips may help you prepare your home for winter.

1. Take Care of Your Outdoor Space

Securing your outdoor space is the most important part of getting your home ready for winter. Keep your recycling bins and rubbish in a secure place to ensure that they do not damage your property in the event of high winds.

You need to clear your drainage and gutter as well. Check to ensure that the soil around your home’s foundation has not settled and created pools of water on your foundation. If there is a low soil, get some soil and fill it. Avoid saturated soil close to your foundation. It can freeze and thaw in the winter months hence causing real issues.

When leaves are no longer falling off your trees, you need to clean your gutters. When they back up, they can overflow causing water to flow down your home and damage your structures. It can damage your foundation and promote the growth of mold.

2. Check Your HVAC System

Check your HVAC system and ensure that it is in great condition for winter. Most systems last an average of 12 to 15 years if they are maintained regularly. Regular maintenance may reduce the need for repairs and promote efficiency. Before winter weather begins, change your filter and schedule and schedule a consultation with your HVAC technician. Have them check your system to be sure that your heat is not going to fail you when you need it most. Detecting HVAC problems when the temperatures are moderate is a lot better than realizing that your furnace does not work on a frigid day in the middle of winter. 

3. Check Your Roof

Check your roofing and ensure that it is in good condition before winter. Check for missing or damaged shingles as that can be the most common cause of leaking during winter storms. Hiring professional roofers for roof repairs or home roof replacement can save you the inconvenience of a leaking roof later. If you have a flat roof, rake it to get rid of leaves before winter.

4. Test Your Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors

Most house fires happen in the winter. It is the time when most people may be building fires and closing up their homes. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide devices and ensure that they are in their best working condition. If there are no carbon monoxide or smoke detectors in your home, get some.

5. Clean Your Chimney

Get a professional to clean and inspect your fireplace before winter. A chimney sweep company will help you ensure that your chimney is clean and safe for use. If there are maintenance issues, they can be addressed before they get out of hand. Order a load of firewood for winter and stack it somewhere in your home.

6. Secure Your Shed

Your sheds can take some battering during winter so you need to secure it. Keep your doors closed and your garden furniture in a secured place. If your plants or hanging baskets are vulnerable to low temperatures, keep them inside. Even though your home insurance covers your sheds, it does not cover other items like plants, gardening tools, or power tools.

7. Keep Your Home Cozy

Before the temperatures drop, it is wise to check that your home will be protected from the cold. Insulating your home can promote the energy efficiency in your home. It will not only lower your energy bills but also keep your home warm. Protecting your pipes is important as well. Wrap your pipes with thermal insulation to prevent pipe freezes which can cause blockages. The most vulnerable pipes are in the coldest parts of your home like your garage.

8. Find Your Stopcock

You need to know where your stopcock is before winter. It is the valve that turns your cold water system on or off. If the water in your pipes freezes, pressure is likely to build up behind the clogged area hence causing your pipe to burst. Knowing where to find your stopcock is important in case of this unfortunate event. You may need it to prevent flooding and water damage.

When preparing for winter, think about all parts of your home and the best way to protect them. If you need help checking your HVAC system, repairing your roof, or cleaning your chimney, call in a profession.