Winter home maintenance is necessary to keep your property warm, comfortable, and safe when the weather turns colder. The winter season presents its fair share of challenges for the average homeowner. From ice and snow accumulation jeopardizing the integrity of your roof to a stretch of below-freezing temperatures causing the pipes to burst, winter takes a toll on your home.
The good news is, you don’t have to resign yourself to damages and make costly repairs when spring arrives. With a simple winter home maintenance strategy, you can protect your home from the worst winter has to offer.
Assess Your Winter Home Maintenance Needs
Take a look at your home and assess its condition. Are the gutters and downspouts clear of debris or are they clogged with fallen leaves? Is the attic properly insulated? Is your roof in good shape or are there missing shingles from severe weather during the summer and fall?
Once you know what parts of your home need improvements, make a plan for repairs. Whether you do the work yourself or hire a contractor, look for issues and take steps to protect your home from the harsh winter weather to come.
Protect Your Pipes
Frozen pipes can cause costly damage to your home, but you can insulate the pipes to better protect them from the cold. Especially if you have plumbing pipes running along an exterior wall, it’s important to insulate them. Otherwise, during extended freezing temperatures, the pipes may freeze, burst, and flood your home.
Protect the pipes by adding heat tape and a layer of insulation. Look for gaps or cracks in walls near the pipes and repair the openings to better protect the plumbing. When the weather does become exceptionally cold, turning the tap on to allow a slow drip of water from the faucet will also help to prevent freezing.
Check the Trees as Part of Your Winter Home Maintenance
If you have large trees in your yard, fall is the perfect time to check for dead or dying branches. A falling limb can cause extensive damage to your roof and even cause injury to a family member, so trimming weakened branches now is a perfect winter home maintenance task.
Remove branches that are hanging over the roof or touching the siding, and consult an arborist if you’re concerned about the health of the trees on your property.
Create an Emergency Stockpile
While there are several steps to take to protect your home from winter storm damage, there is not much you can do to prevent a power outage. The failure of a transformer in the cold or the downing of a power line due to excess snow and ice accumulation can leave you and your family in the dark, and you never know how long the outage is going to last.
Make an emergency kit including flashlights, batteries, water, non-perishable food, medications, and a hand-crank radio. These items will help keep your family comfortable until the power returns.