As temperatures drop during the transition from summer to autumn and winter months, it’s important to remember to prepare yourself and your property accordingly. While you can’t change the weather, there are measures you can take to help minimize some of winter’s greatest threats. Here are some tips for avoiding weather related damage to your property:
Before Severe Weather Takes Place:
- Insulate your outside walls, unheated areas and attic.
- Caulk and/or weather-strip doors and windows to reduce wind drafts.
- Install storm windows or cover windows with plastic film from the inside.
- Detach all gardening hoses and shut-off water supply to outside faucets.
- Install faucet covers to all external faucets.
- Wrap pipes nearest exterior walls (and in crawl spaces) with pipe insulation or heating tape.
- Drip lukewarm water from interior faucets to reduce the chances of a pipe freeze.
- Find the location of your main water valve and make sure you can turn it on and off easily (in case of pipe bursts).
- If you have a thermostat that uses a battery, make sure to replace it regularly.
- Have your chimney and flue inspected.
- Install an easy-to-read outdoor thermometer.
- Repair roof leaks and cut away tree branches that could fall on your home or other structure during a storm.
- In cold weather, keep the garage doors closed to help eliminate drafts if attached to the house.
- During power failures, disconnect your electrical appliances to avoid damage from power surges, which can occur once the power is restored (this includes computers!).
- Carefully remove snow build-up on your roof to avoid ice and snow damage to the roof or interior of the home.
Always Have a List of Vendors at the Ready:
You won't be able to prevent every potential winter catastrophe. For the unexpected, have a list of people you can call on to get the job done the same day that you call.
Roofers - Snow, ice, and/or hail can wreak havoc on your roof. Snow can accumulate and become heavy enough to cave the roof in, while ice can weigh down tree limbs to the point of breaking and crashing through. Hail can put dings in the roof and siding of your home as well.
Plumbers – Winter weather can become cold enough to freeze the water within your pipes and actually cause the pipes themselves to burst. Have somebody reliable that you can call on in an emergency.
Pest control - Rodents and insects tend to be more tempted to invade your warm home during cold and wet weather. Have a good pest control company you can call on during the winter months.