While here in Maryland our winters are rarely very extreme, the chances for dramatic weather have increased significantly; with winter storms and freezing temperatures becoming more frequent, it’s important to consider how to care for your home. The changes in weather can make your home less comfortable, but if you’re unprepared, it can also cause severe damage. As we head into the worst of winter, be sure you’re following these six guidelines to protecting your home.
Gather Cold Weather Tools
Once the first snowstorm hits stores can quickly run out of stock of essentials like ice melt, shovels, and sand. Make sure you have these items stocked in your home before you even need them. Additionally, having a source of heating that is not electrically powered can be of utmost importance. Lastly, be sure you have a working fire extinguisher, winter fire risks are a serious threat.
Seal Windows and Doors
If your windows and doors are drafty, you’re leaving yourself open to a whole host of problems. Sealing your home with caulk and weather stripping can help ensure that your bills are lower, your home is more comfortable, and that no pests or water manages to make their way indoors.
Keep Gutters Clean
As heat escapes from the roof of your home, it can melt the snow and ice causing runoff that can then freeze in clogged gutters and create dangerous ice dams. These dams can not only allow for damage to your roof and walls but when all of that ice melts it may produce long term problems for your home’s foundation. When the weather allows, clean all your gutters to ensure that any water leaving your roof gets all the way away from your home. Adding insulation to your roof, sealing any places where hot air escapes, and rubberizing the space underneath the shingles closest to the edges are all critical steps to help prevent damage from ice dams.
Because water expands as it freezes, during winter any pipes exposed to the cold can break if they are full of water. When the weather is frigid, you can prevent pipes from bursting by leaving your taps running at a drip. For all outdoor pipes and water sources, the best course of action is to turn them off and open them so that they run out before the weather gets cold. Any water pipes in cool areas can be insulated to help prevent freezes.
Check Your Heating System
While it’s likely, you’ve already had your furnace or heating unit turned on this year, if you haven’t performed any maintenance it’s not too late. Taking the time to make sure your unit is clean and running at its best is a fantastic way to ensure your home is comfortable and that it will last as long as possible.
Maintain Your Chimney and Fireplace
If you are lucky enough to have a working fireplace, you have the great option of supplementing your home’s heating needs with the inexpensive and mood amplifying glow of a wood burning fire. That said, ensuring that your fireplace and chimney are in good working order can make a huge difference in how well that fire burns. Chimneys must be thoroughly cleaned and checked to ensure that vents are working correctly and to eliminate the fire hazard caused by build up. Don’t forget to close the flue when not in use, as this can lead to significant heat loss.
CREATE A HOME YOU LOVE WITH HIGH PERFORMANCE HOME, LLC
Are you in need of a new roof or gutters? Are you looking for a more energy-efficient window or door? Would you like to transform the exterior of your home? Look no further than High Performance Home, LLC. With over 38 years of professional contracting experience building, improving, remodeling, repairing, and adding on to homes and buildings, you can’t go wrong by contacting us today! We provide service to Carroll, Frederick, Howard, Western Baltimore, and Northern Montgomery Counties. Also, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.