Preparing Your Home for Winter
Cold weather is already creeping into the forecast, and winter is just around the corner. It’s a good idea to prepare your home for the cold weather by following these easy winterizing tips.
5 Winter Preparation Tips
Tip 1: Disconnect Water Hose
This tip is a vital one if you live in an area that commonly drops below freezing during the fall and winter months. Exterior garden hoses can retain water, and when it freezes, it can freeze all the way into the spigot and pipes, causing stress fractures and burst pipes. This leads to flooding and it can be extremely expensive to repair the leak and restore the damage from water. When fall comes around, simply disconnect your garden hose and store it for the winter. It’s also a good idea to turn off water to the outside spigot.
Tip 2: Gutter Cleaning
Clogged gutters aren’t just an issue in the fall and spring. In the winter when the propensity for snow increases, clogged gutters can cause flooding issues due to melted snow water being unable to drain properly. It’s a good idea to check your gutters at the beginning of fall and the end to ensure that your gutters are functioning properly. If you hire a gutter cleaning service, be sure to ask if they perform a downspout test, as clogging can sometimes occur in the downspout.
Tip 3 - Seal Your Concrete
Have you ever noticed that cracks seem to appear in concrete after several winter snows? That’s because the shrinking and expanding of the concrete during temperature changes can accentuate micro cracks in the surface. As water seeps in and freezes, it further deforms the concrete, causing it to crack. You can avoid this by sealing your concrete. Sealant fills in the pores and cracks and makes the concrete unable to absorb moisture or water. Be sure to have your concrete cleaned prior to sealing it, or the stains, mold, mildew, and algae will forever be seen under the sealer.
Tip 4 - Move the Plants
This is a fairly obvious tip, but many plants do not like to be frozen. If you have potted plants that are sensitive to weather, it’s a good idea to move them indoors before the first frost. This helps ensure that they survive the winter. You can transplant smaller plants from your garden to a pot and store it indoors if you need to.
Tip 5 - Get your Furnace Checked
Just like having your air conditioner checked going into the spring and summer, it’s vital to ensure that the health of your furnace is optimum going into the winter months. Severely cold weather can be dangerous without a heat source, and HVAC companies sometimes require a day or two to make a service call. Proactively prepping for cold weather is always better than reacting to a critical failure.
Winter can be a wonderful season, with snowmen, snow ball fights, Holiday parties, and cozy evenings by the fire. It is more enjoyable if you do not have to deal with leaking pipes, cracked sidewalks, flooding gutters, dead plants, and cold homes. Follow the steps above to prepare for winter like the best preppers!