PREPARING YOUR HOME FOR WINTER
Spring and summer storms, hot summer days, and strong winds can cause stress on your home and there are some steps you should take before winter to protect you and your family and your property before the winter blast hits. A little bit of maintenance now can save you anxious times dealing with water leaks, nonworking furnaces and frozen pipes. Here are some of my recommendations for the winterization of your home.
- Disconnect all the hoses from the water spigots on the home. Most spigots today are frost proof and allow the water to drain out of the line as it penetrates the wall. If the hose is connected however it cannot drain out and the cold will cause the water in the pipe to freeze. You will not notice this until the spring thaw and the broken pipe will leak and you will have a messy, expensive repair.
- Replace all your smoke alarm batteries. Although all modern building codes call for hardwired smoke detectors they have a battery backup. They always wait until 2 in the morning to start beeping and you will spend the next hour trying to figure out which one it is.
- Change your furnace and humidifier filters. During those cold winter nights you want your heat working as efficiently as possible and without the proper humidification and can cause difficulties sleeping and possible nose bleeds from the dry air.
- Take a walk around your home and check your caulking around windows and doors and all wall penetrations. A little water can get behind your building envelope and when it freezes cause expansion to the gap. This will allow more water, bugs and rodents in your home.
- Little critters like raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks and mice would love to move in for the cold winter months. Make sure you have not developed any openings for them to sneak in. A family of raccoons living in your attic can cause a lot of damage.
The most destructive cause of damage to your home is water. A few minutes of preventive maintenance with minimal cost can save you hours of anxiety and thousands of dollars.
Have a wonderful peaceful winter. Talk to you next month with some holiday precautions.