One is rarely overly prepared, especially when it comes to maintaining the home. This guest post from Lucy Clark provides four steps to take which will help stay ahead of ‘Old Man Winter’s’ wrath.
There’s nothing like curling up in your house with a cup of hot cocoa during the winter – at least until a pipe bursts and you suddenly find yourself bailing cold water out of your basement. That might sound harsh, but the truth is that winter isn’t kind to homes. The frigid temperatures, falling snow and fierce winds of the season can cause all sorts of mishaps to visit your dwelling, from a persistent draft to a near-biblical flood. Consequently, many homeowners should start preparing their homes to face this year’s frost well before the snow starts falling. By doing just a little work now, you can save yourself and your house a lot of grief later. For example, here are four easy ways anyone can winter-proof their home.
1) Get your furnace serviced. The last thing you want this winter is to be stuck in a frigid house shopping for new HVAC systems. Have a certified HVAC technician come in and perform a check-up and maintenance on your furnace. It should only cost about $100 and can save you from a week (or more) of cold nights down the road.
2) Install weather strips. Now is the perfect time to check your home for drafts. Light a candle, and hold it near all of your doors and windows. If the flame flickers, that means the wind is getting in. Mark the locations of your drafts and then fit the offending gaps with weather strips. For extra protection, consider wrapping your windows in insulating film. If you’re diligent, it shouldn’t be hard to keep the cold out of your home.
3) Insulate your pipes. When water freezes, it expands. When it expands while trapped in your pipes, your pipes burst. This is one of the most common and problematic of all winter home mishaps. Keep your plumbing safe by insulating it in advance. Wrap your cold-water pipes with thermal material to keep them warm and disconnect your exterior water lines like your hose spigots to make sure ice can’t creep in. You might also want to consider allowing your taps to drizzle cold water overnight to keep the water in the pipes moving. This makes it much less likely to freeze.
4) Clean out your gutters. Clogged gutters are a nuisance in the fall, but they’re downright dangerous in winter. Blocked drainage will be the least of your problems if the leaves and other debris clogging your gutters freeze over. The frozen clutter will get big and heavy, putting your gutters at significant risk for splitting open or falling off of your roof altogether.
Don’t let frosty weather turn your cozy house into a winter wonderland this year. Take these steps to prepare your home for the drop in temperatures. With just a little work, you can ensure that your house remains warm, safe and toasty all winter long.
Author Bio: Lucy Clark is a mother of two, an avid DIY-er and a blogger for DIY Mother and Business2Community. Her hobbies include watching her daughters’ soccer games, hiking and painting her living room a new color at least twice a year.
Photo: Winter house from Wikimedia commons