Getting your home ready before the big storms of the winter is a much better alternative to reacting after the damage has been done. Being prepared can help you avoid catastrophe in the form of anything from ice dams to heating system failure. This winter will more than likely be a cold one, so follow these tips to help you be winter ready.
- Have your system checked out and serviced at least once a year, and before the heating season begins. It’s getting cold out there, so think about doing this very soon if you haven’t already
- Fill your fuel tanks and monitor the levels of fuel throughout the winter. You definitely don’t want to run out during a bad storm, you won’t only be cold in your home, but it may be hard to get someone out for a refill.
- Keep your homes heat at a consistent level, no lower than 55 degrees, to avoid the freezing of pipes in the walls
- If you have a wood or pellet stove, make sure to have a good supply of material to burn, as well as steady maintenance to avoid malfunction
Insulation & Ice Dams
- Adding extra insulation to your attic can help prevent the formation of ice dams, the biggest issues we saw arise for homeowners last winter. Ice dams form when too much warmth from the house escapes to the attic and melts the snow on a roof, which will then form a barrier of ice on or near the gutter, resulting in roof damage, and leaks back into the home. And no one wants that.
- Freezing temperatures can damage the pipes in your home. Fix any water leaks immediately, and insulate your pipes as needed.
- If you are going to be leaving your home for an extended period of time, be sure to shut your water off to avoid freezing.
- Trim and remove dead tree branches to avoid falling limbs due to ice or snow.
- Keep gutters clear so that melting ice can drain and won’t form those pesky ice dams. Redirect downspouts away from your foundation.
- Repair steps and handrails for safer walking when there’s ice.
- Keep shovels and snow rakes handy, as well as plenty of ice melting compounds for safer walkways
- Make sure to have any maintenance needed performed on snow blowers and generators
- Keep any fuel stored in proper containers, away from heat sources, and do not store it in your basement
Hopefully with these tips and tricks you’ll be able to enjoy a warm and safe winter season (free from ice dams of course)!