It’s coming. For some, it may already be here.
The looming arrival of winter, for many in colder climates, means it is time to think of preparing the home for the invasion of frigid temperatures, gripping winds, icy rains, heavy snows, and all the other issues that come with the harshest season of the year.
Getting your home in shape so it can battle the winter elements does take some time, planning, and preparation, but the payoff is worth it. A number of issues — from frozen water pipes to ice dams in your gutters to water intrusion in the basement — can arise that can damage your home that often require either much of your valuable time and resources to repair, or the services of a disaster restoration company.
At minimum, handle these winter preparedness tasks.
Get a ladder and get to work, or hire a professional to handle it, but you must make sure your gutters are clean of all debris. Disconnect all your garden hoses, and if you can, turn off the water to those faucets.
Inspect any trees and remove branches that may get heavy with ice and fall onto your home.
Look at the caulking and trim around your windows and doors, and make them as air tight as possible.
Have your heating system inspected, and don’t forget the fireplace or insert, if you have them. The wrong time for a heating system to go bad is when it is needed. An honest, reputable HVAC company may be able to prevent the unthinkable — your house losing heat and freezing up, with all kinds of damage occurring as pipes freeze and break, among other issues.
If you have any other heat sources, such as portable heaters, kerosene heaters, etc, inspect them and especially the cords. They are cheaper to replace now than when everyone is running to the store to buy them.
As you did on the outside, inspect the interiors of your windows and doors, and repair them to keep out cold wind. On a windy day, do your inspection with a butane lighter, as any air activity will show up in a flickering flame.
If you have sump pump system, determine how old it is and check with the manufacturer on recommended replacement frequencies. A failure of a sump pump is a guaranteed way to come home to inches — or feet — of water in the basement.
If the unthinkable does happen, don’t panic. Call your favorite disaster restoration company right away. After all, it pays to call a pro.