How to prepare your home for inclement winter weather
Did you recently purchase your first home in the past several months? If so, you've likely spent a substantial amount of time customizing the residence to your liking, and making sure it provides you and your family with comfortable surroundings as well as adequate protection from the outdoors.
As individuals continue to enjoy autumn across the East Coast, homeowners' thoughts may be turning to the coming season, and the residential enhancements that are needed. Due to the weather patterns typically found throughout this region during winter, it is important you make a number of improvements to your house before the temperatures drop and snow starts to fall.
By completing the following projects, you can ensure your home is better prepared to take on whatever the season has in store.
Perform inspection of internal systems
Since you'll probably be spending significantly more time inside your home than outdoors during winter, it is generally a wise decision to examine the systems that you will be depending on the most. Focus must be placed on the plumbing, electricity and heat.
Plumbing - If your property has an underground sprinkler system installed, you will want to drain all the water from it to prevent lines from freezing. Inside the home, you will want to cover exposed pipes with insulation. This will help to protect them from freezing, but also potentially bursting - which would be an incredibly expensive repair to cover.
Electricity - Inspecting electrical wiring and transformer connections to make certain they're in proper working order will ensure you're never stuck in the cold and dark due to an unexpected power outage.
HVAC - Finally, checking on the furnace is a simple step, but doing so can alert you of any complications that could create serious problems. Replacing the air filter is quick and easy, and can guarantee your respiratory health is kept in top shape.
Add insulation to cracks in windows, doors
While they are great for looking out, windows aren't working effectively if they allow more than just sunlight to enter your home. If your windows aren't keeping heat in and cold air out during winter, you may want to look into having weather stripping and insulation installed. Doing so along window fixtures, as well as door frames, can heighten your comfort during the season, in addition to reducing your monthly utility bills.
An advantage of completing these updates during the summer is that you can also enjoy having cool air trapped inside and heat kept out of the residence.
Clean gutters, remove leaves
Though the colorful leaves that fall from trees are many individuals' favorite aspects of the season, they can also be the source of a considerable amount of damage to residential properties.
Gutters - If leaves get caught in the home's gutter system, they can create a clog that backs up the entire drainage system. While this may appear to be a minor issue to some homeowners at first, it could turn into a large problem during winter if ice dams form and cause roof damage from leaking.
Siding - Another complication brought about by leaves in autumn is rotting. Wet leaves that are allowed to collect at the base of your home may look festive for a time, but can cause significant harm to its structural integrity if left unattended for a long period of time.