How to Ready Your House for Winter
Winter brings with it all sorts of delights — snowmen, hot chocolate, sparkling lights, skiing, frost on the trees...truly, it's a beautiful time of year (especially in the mountains out here!).
But winter also presents some unique challenges, particularly when it comes to keeping the house together. A house not properly prepped for winter weather could mean you'll be dealing with busted gutters, a clogged chimney and drafty windows during months of single digit temperatures. No one wants that!
Ready to be a little more proactive this year? Here are five tasks that should be on your to-do list to get your property fully ready for winter.
1. Insulate your attic.
We probably sound like a broken record, but it's true! Spending the money now to insulate your attic will save you a great deal of money in the long run. This happens in two ways!
First, you'll be able to keep heated air outside of the attic and in your main living area, where it belongs. Second, attic insulation also helps keep the attic itself cooler, which prevents ice dams from forming on the roof.
Get a FREE, personalized quote for attic insulation here!
2. Wrap your pipes.
Water damage, particularly that linked to frozen and burst pipes, is a really common problem during wintertime. In fact, it's one of the most frequent claims made to insurance companies during this time.
To stave off catastrophic water damage, you'll want to wrap your pipes, keep your home around 65 degrees or so, and locate your home's main water shutoff valve in case of emergencies.
3. Prep your windows.
Start by removing and storing all window screens. Then, install glass storm windows. These will create an insulating layer of air between your windows and the cold outside air, as well as provide a little extra protection against rain, snow and (ahem) hail.
Not up for replacing your windows every winter? Air sealing might be a better option! Air sealing (one of our specialties) helps fill all those tiny gaps that let cold air and moisture into your home. It's a great investment!
Get a FREE, personalized quote for air sealing here!
4. Service your chimney and furnace.
Did you know that fireplaces, chimneys and heating equipment are one of the most common causes of home fires? Yikes! To ensure your fireplace is up to snuff, hire an inspector to check it each year.
Double check that the inspector you hire will take a look at the condition of your brick. It periodically requires upkeep to prevent water from leaching in and warmth-seeking animals from accessing your house.
5. Trim back dying tree limbs.
A dying branch covered in snow (likely lots of it out here) can easily snap, potentially causing hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in damage if it happens to strike your roof, porch or siding.
Before the first snow arrives (too late?), have an arborist (or a skillful uncle) trim back vulnerable limbs. Bonus: free firewood!
Are YOU ready for winter?