Fall has officially arrived, which means it’s time to prepare your home for winter while the weather is still cooperative.
Freezing temperatures, heavy snowfall and extensive rain or drought can wreak havoc on the condition of your home. Seasonal maintenance and weather proofing can help prevent expensive repairs and inconvenience.
- Cover external pipes with an insulation kit, which will prevent freezing and ice buildup. For added protection, turn off external faucet shut-off valves. External pipes and faucets are extremely susceptible to cold weather since they are exposed to snow and ice.
- Drain garden hoses and store them in a dry place. Water left in a hose can freeze and cause the hose to crack or split. This could be problematic next spring when you’re ready to water the plants.
- Wrap exterior faucets with insulation tape to protect against freezing pipes. Even indoor pipes can freeze with extreme temperature changes, so make sure internal pipes remain warm throughout the winter.
- Seal leaks around windows and doors to prevent cold air from entering your home and warm air from escaping. Cold air leaks may cause your furnace to work harder to keep the home’s interior warm and increase heating bill costs.
- Flush water heaters to remove sediment buildup, which can damage the tank. By performing a flush twice a year in the fall and spring, you can increase the tank’s life expectancy.
- Clear leaves and debris from outside gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage and prevent ice buildup. As the snow and ice begin to melt, it’s important to have free-flowing spouts to properly remove water from your roof.
- Test smoke detector functionality and change batteries as needed. Test the functionality of the smoke detector by having someone go to the furthest point in the house away from the detector while you spray test smoke (available at most hardware stores) near the detector to ensure the alarm is activated and can be heard.
- Examine your walkways and driveways for loose pavement that could become slippery or dangerous when ice or snow-covered.
- Hire a chimney sweep to inspect and clean the chimney before the first use.
Snow, ice and freezing temperatures will be in the forecast soon, so prepare your home today.
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