The winter season involves freezing cold temperatures and severe weather that can threaten yours and your family’s safety and well-being. To combat this, you can bundle up with warm attire whenever venturing outside and do what you can to keep your home comfortably warm. However, your home is still vulnerable to the cold weather, which can put your home in danger.
Without proper preparation, your home may be at risk of suffering property damage due to the winter weather and its effects, including burst pipes and water damage. This is an especially high risk for those who live elsewhere during the winter and leave their property vacant.
To put your home in the best position to survive the winter with minimal issues, you need to winterize your home. Do this as soon as possible — preferably prior to major snowfall — to ensure your home is ready before the worst comes.
Continue reading for some tips on how to winterize your home.
Roof and Gutter Cleaning
During the fall, foliage and other debris often settle on top of homes and in gutters, building up as the season progresses. If the debris remains there during the winter, it can prevent snow, ice, and water from properly running through the gutters and out away from the home. Instead, the snow builds up in the gutter. As it melts, the water can seep under shingles and run alongside the home’s siding, causing water damage. Because of this, it’s important to clear out your home’s gutters and clean the roof before winter.
As you clean these areas, take the time also to check for any signs of damage. For example, if you notice your home’s roof has missing or broken shingles, now is the time to replace them. Otherwise, snow and ice can leak into your home.
When there has been a snowfall, use a roof rake to brush the snow off the roof. The roof can only hold so much snow before it becomes too heavy and collapses. Brushing away the snow will prevent that from happening.
Check for Cracks and Drafts
In addition to checking the roof and gutters, check the exterior of your home for cracks, including the foundation. If you encounter any cracks, have those sealed properly right away to prevent water from entering and causing a leak.
Inside of the home, check and address any drafts and air leaks as well. Seal up cracks and add weatherstripping to doors and windows to provide insulation. Not only will this resolve air leaks and drafts problems, but it will also save you money on heating costs.
For the winter, insulating your attic and your home’s water pipes can be extremely beneficial. Ice dams are likely to form on your roof during the winter which can become a problem if it causes water to leak into your home when it melts. This occurrence can be avoided, though, by insulating the attic floor.
Your water pipes need to be insulated to prevent them from freezing. When water pipes freeze, the water expands in size. This ice, if large enough, then places pressure on the pipe. With enough pressure, the ice causes pipes to burst, spewing water throughout your home.
For exposed pipes, cover them up with pipe insulation. This insulation comes in various materials and sizes and can be placed directly over the pipes. For pipes beneath sinks in cabinets, open the doors to allow warm air to circulate near them when there are freezing temperatures. Allowing a low water drip from the faucets can also help prevent pipes from freezing.
Heating System Inspection
Ideally, your home’s heating system should be inspected before the winter comes and you put it to consistent use. With a professional’s insight, any potential issues can be pointed out and resolved before you need to heat your home. Your home’s heating system will also help with preventing frozen pipes, so do not wait until the severe cold arrives to get an inspection. If you choose to wait, then HVAC professionals may be overbooked.
Designate Someone to Check on Your Home
In the event you are relocating for the winter, someone needs to keep an eye on your home. Even if you have taken the measures to prepare it for the winter, it is still necessary to designate someone to check on your home in case of an emergency. If you have any neighbors, friends, or family who can check your home every few weeks, then politely ask for their help. If not, hire a local handyman to check that your home’s HVAC is working properly, and no other problems have arisen.
Professional Water Damage Restoration Help
When you winterize your home, your property should be in a condition that minimizes that potential for problems like water damage. But if you find your home suffers any water damage during the winter, act immediately. It does not matter whether the damage was the result of burst pipes or a leak. Water spreads quickly and will become absorbed by any porous building materials and furnishings, damaging them in the process.
Reach out to ServiceMaster DAK for the professional water damage restoration services we provide for homes and businesses. We employ IICRC-certified water technicians who are available on a 24/7 basis to respond to your water damage emergency.
Our services begin with an initial inspection and assessment that allows us to determine a proper restoration plan. Then, we extract the water and moisture, dry the property, and conduct restoration and repairs. With our professional assistance, your home will be restored to a safe living space that’s protected against the harsh winter weather.