Your home’s primary purpose is to shelter you and your loved ones from the harsh elements that you may otherwise be exposed to throughout the year. The winter months can be particularly brutal because of the extremely cold temperatures, strong winds, ice and snow. Because of the harshness of winter weather conditions, your home can take quite a beating throughout the season. Preparing your home for exposure to the elements in different ways can help you to avoid unexpected damages and can even keep you and your loved ones more comfortable in some cases.
Schedule Furnace Maintenance and Repair Service
You rely on your furnace to keep you and your family warm throughout the winter. This means that the furnace may turn on and off numerous times each day, and it can endure considerable wear and tear in the process. When your system is not properly maintained, it may not function as efficiently. This could also drain energy unnecessarily, which could cost you money. Some furnace issues could fill your home with dangerous levels of carbon monoxide or cause a house fire. In addition, there is an increased chance that the furnace could break on a frigid winter day. Preparing your furnace for winter is as easy as scheduling repair and maintenance work on it before the season's change.
Reinforce Your Roof
The weight of snow and ice on your roof can be tremendous. Even if you have never had a problem with the strength of your roof in the past, keep in mind that some of your support beams may have weakened or even cracked with age. In addition, you cannot foresee a major winter storm that may dump more snow on your home than it has ever endured in the past. Scheduling an inspection of the beams can help you to determine if repair work is necessary or if you need to reinforce the support structure so that it can more effectively hold the weight of snow and ice throughout the winter. This should be completed before the first snowfall of the year. During extreme conditions, you may need to schedule service to remove the snow and ice from the roof. This can keep unnecessary weight from bearing down on your roof.
Seal Doors and Windows
The seals on your doors and windows keep the climate-controlled air inside the home and the external air out of the home. These seals can deteriorate over time. This can cause uncomfortable drafts, and it can result in your furnace having to work overtime. Sealing doors and windows in the fall can help you to keep your home comfortable throughout the winter, and it can prevent unnecessary energy waste as well as wear and tear on your furnace. Addressing this concern is as easy as re-caulking or re-sealing the doors and windows, and this can usually be completed as a quick do-it-yourself project over a weekend in the fall.
Clean and Maintain the Gutters
Before the winter season starts, spend an afternoon cleaning out your gutters and repairing any damaged areas. Snow and ice can gather in the gutters, and the weight can result in loose or damaged gutters. Blockages can cause water from melted snow and ice to pool up and even to sit on the roof in some cases. The water could also spill out of the gutters, and this may cause expensive foundation damage. These issues can be prevented with attention to your gutters before the winter season begins. If you are not comfortable doing the work on your own or if you do not have time to do it, hire a contractor to ensure that this important task is completed in the fall.
These are some of the many steps that you can take to prepare your home for the harsh elements this winter. While these steps can produce wonderful results that protect your home from damage and that ensure the protective nature of your home, remember that you may also need to complete other steps to fully winterize your property. Preparing a checklist of necessary maintenance tasks based on your home’s unique needs and spending a few weekends walking through the checklist is a smart idea.