by Client Care
on Wednesday, October 16th, 2013 at 7:55pm.
Asking the question, should you winterize your home, is a bit like asking if you need to put on a hat and gloves to go play in the snow. The obvious answer is yes, almost every home regardless of its condition should be winterized to some degree if the owner has any hopes of maintaining the property and keeping costs down. With that being said, some newer homes might only need a few things done, while older homes, mountain properties, waterfront properties, and seasonal homes will require significantly more in preparation for the cold and wet winter season. Just like a little kid that doesn’t know better, many first time homebuyers are not aware of the golden rules of winterizing that many veteran homeowners have become familiar with, only because they have dealt with the ramifications of things like frozen pipes, chimney fires, and leaking roofs.
One of most important things you can do to get your home ready for winter is to make sure you will not have any issues with your water pipes. This includes pipes inside and outside the home. When pipes freeze they can burst causing thousands of dollars in damage. So the best thing you can do is to make sure they are drained and insulated. Outside you need to blow out your sprinkler systems, disconnect your hoses, shut off the water valve and insulate any exposed pipes. Inside the home you should do a survey making sure that pipes in your basement and crawlspace, or ones that are notoriously problematic, are properly insulated and not leaking.
Another extremely important thing you can do to winterize your home is to make sure that all of its heating systems are working properly. You want to do this for efficiency purposes as well as safety purposes. Having your furnace serviced is something that most homeowners don’t do, but they should. This will actually prolong the life of your furnace, keeping heating bills as low as possible, and prevent things like system failures due to overheating. Your fireplaces and wood burning stoves are other critical places you need to consider during the winter. Chimney fires are more common than you think, and if you use yours regularly throughout the season it is vital you have it cleaned once a year. While your mind is focused on your heating system, having your air ducts cleaned and your dryer lines serviced are also good ideas.
One of the last things you should do to winterize your home is get up on the roof. You need to clean out your gutters, not forgetting the ones that are on the tippy top of your house, to insure proper drainage as the snow melts. You should also inspect both the interior and exterior of your roof checking for leaks to prevent additional costly damage. While you are outside, this is also a good time to clean up your yard by getting rid of fallen leaves, dead foliage, and overgrown gardens. Doing so can actually help things grow back the next year even fuller. In addition, it will make snow removal much easier and reduce the possibility of common everyday snow related injuries.