Every year thousands of homeowners lose money during the winter months either from excess heat loss or damages caused by the winter conditions. While somethings are unavoidable, you can always take preventative steps that will help protect your home and save you money during the cold winter months.
Sprinkler pipes are rarely insulated and will easily rupture if steps are not taken to blow out or drain the standing water. When sprinklers pipes because of freezing temperatures they are expensive to repair. When the water gets turned back on in the spring and summer it will flow right out of the burst pipes. If you are paying for water this obviously ends up costing a lot, but you can also end up flooding your property resulting in thousands of dollars in water damage.
While fairly obvious gutter cleaning is often times an overlooked step. After the leaves are done falling but before the snow starts make sure your gutters are clean and clear of debris. Excess plant matter soaks up moisture and will freeze. This can build up into an ice block that keeps any material in your gutter from sliding out. The weight and pressure can cause gutters to collapse and damage your roof line. Do not overlook this simple step that could save you lots of time and money later.
Protective rubber strips that go around windows and doors create a seal against rain, snow, and wind. As the temperature starts to cool, walk around the interior of your house and feel for any drafts coming from closed windows and doors. Finding drafts shows where the weather stripping needs to be repaired or replaced. While this is not much for safety, it helps to drastically reduce your energy bill if you can seal up all the areas where warm air escapes.
Fire Place and Alarms
If you use a fireplace as a source of heat during the winter, make sure the chimney is cleaned and there is nothing blocking it. Using a fire place before properly cleaning it can result in a fire or fail to funnel the dangerous carbon monoxide out of your house. As you weather proof your house air flow will be reduced, which can result in poor air quality. A fireplace that hasn’t been cleaned properly can cause your home to become deprived of oxygen and filled with carbon monoxide. This is deadly and making sure that every room has a fire detector and carbon monoxide detector can keep your home safe.
This list is by no means extensive but it is a good start to prepare for the winter. Take the time to insure that your property is ready for snow, freezing temperatures, and long nights so you can relax in comfort and avoid restoration services in the spring.