With massive winter storm cells affecting much of the country, including the Northeast recently, we may see more weather extremes before winter is over. As homeowners, it is essential we take extra care this year to winterize our homes to protect them from the damaging effects of the cold. Here are some tips for preparing your home for the cold New England weather:
Prepare Your Heating System
Start by having your furnace inspected to make sure it is in good working order. Also, check the heat exchanger and thermostat to make sure they are working. Then replace your air filters. For those of you in older or rural area homes, if you use propane, wood, or coal, make sure you have plenty on hand to get you through the season. Also, if you plan on using your fireplace, you should make sure the chimney is clear of any debris and the flue works correctly.
Check Your Exterior For Vulnerabilities
House Logic recommends doing a spot check of the exterior of your home to look for vulnerabilities. They suggest checking your siding, windows, shutters, and doors to make sure there are no cracks or holes that can lead to larger damage. If you find any problems, you should repair them as quickly as possible to secure your home. Depending on the severity of the damage, you can use a silicone filler to reinforce some of the areas.
Add Insulation Where Necessary
Insulation can help protect the integrity of your home and reduce the cold that enters your home. It’s a good idea to add a little extra sealant around windows and doors. You can also install storm windows or line your existing windows with sheet plastic. You should also insulate any entry points like basement or attic vents. It is also recommended to insulate your plumbing to prevent any pipe bursts from the cold.
Maintain Your Roof
If your roof is not sloped, it’s is especially important to maintain your roof during winter. Farmer’s Insurance recommends starting by inspecting your roof before any storm to look for vulnerabilities. Then look for areas where you can prevent the build-up of ice and snow on your roof to avoid the risk of collapse. They recommend buying a roof rake to clear any build-up. This will help prevent both immediate damage and reduce long-term wear and tear.
Do Some Basic Winter Landscaping
Today’s Homeowner recommends that you should do some winter landscaping. You should start by making sure all your gutters are clear of debris. Then you should trim any trees around your house so if they freeze, they do not fall on your home and damage your property. They also recommend draining any water features and bringing in pots and potted plants to protect them.
Taking these steps will help prevent damage to your home from the frigid weather this year. It will also keep you and your family safe and warm during even the worst storms.