Its that time of year! The weather is getting colder, your dressing warmer, and now its time that you start your winterization process with your home! Winter weather can take its toll on your house. You want to make sure you are prepared to prevent any disasters such as bursting pipes or your heater breaking down on the coldest week of the year.
We came up with 5 steps that you can take when getting your home ready for winter!
Winterization Step 1: Service Your Furnace
Hire an HVAC technician to check out your furnace. At around $100, you should do this each year before the weather hits to be safe from any unexpected surprises. If you wait for the cold weather to hit, you could potentially have to wait longer than you would want to due to increase in demand.
If you are familiar with your unit, there are steps you can take yourself while waiting for professional help. Here is a resource to help prepare your furnace for winter.
Cleaning the unit and having it serviced annually will keep your furnace running at its best and last its full life span.
Step 2: Check The Roof
Check your roof. Get up and check your shingles and make sure there are no areas that need to be repaired. During the winter you will want to keep an eye on your roof. Snow and ice could damage your shingles and cause structural damage or worse, roof collapse.
You can purchase cleaning tools from a hardware store to brush off snow that accumulates on your roof. However, if the snow becomes greatly accumulated and is wet snow, you should have a professional company come and remove the snow.
Step 3: Clear Out Your Gutters
Clean the gutters. Make sure that they are able to work properly when the time comes. Clear out all leaves and debris. If your gutters are blocked up, it will make it difficult for melted snow water to drain properly. The stagnant water could result in water damage to your home. If you are not sure how, check out the video below.
You can also hire someone to clean your gutters for you. A lot of companies will offer fall specials to come and do the maintenance required for you during the fall. Also, make sure that the downspouts are draining 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation of your house.
Step 4: Exterior Plumbing
Get your sprinklers blown out. This should be done every year before the first cold snap and the ground freezes. Any water left in the sprinkler system underground could potentially freeze and cause the pipes to burst. Which means you’ll have to tear up your lawn in the spring in order to fix it.
Having a professional to blow out your sprinklers costs around 50$ – 100$, you can also learn to do it yourself. Also turn off any exterior faucets and roll up your hoses and store inside. The cold weather will cause the water to freeze, and if there is any water in exterior pipes, it will expand and cause the pipes to burst.
Step 5: Nourish Your Lawn
While mowing the lawn the last few times of the season, mulch your leaves over while you mow. This will allow the leaves to fall between the grass and provide extra nourishment for your lawn over winter. You should also use a high-nitrogen lawn fertilizer around the middle of October, or 2-3 weeks before the ground freezes.
Step 6: Don’t Let the Heat Escape
Check your windows and exterior doors for leaks. Make sure that there are no drafts coming from around the sides. If there are you should caulk any gaps or install weather stripping.
You should also consider installing storm windows as an extra measure to keep your heat from escaping out the windows. If you have an window or wall A/C unit, make sure that you cover it up on the outside to prevent cold air seeping through the unit.