16 Oct How to Winterize Your Home
How to Winterize Your Home
Cold weather is a joy for skiers and people who plow and shovel snow. For the rest of us, it can be intimidating and downright nasty. To stay prepared, you must winterize your home before that time of the season rolls around.
Contacting the right professionals to winterize your home is a fundamental part of home maintenance. Your home value and the long-term durability of home HVAC and plumbing heavily depend upon annual maintenance and preparing for the cold snaps ahead. Let’s consider some of the critical aspects of winterizing your home below.
#1: Home Energy Audit
The first step is to conduct an energy audit. You want to be sure that your home is not leaking off heat from cracks in seals, windows, and roofs. Check for signs of rot and use caulking to seal up any small holes. Replace all your screen doors with storm doors and ensure that they seal snuggly into place.
Your home may benefit from upgraded insulation or additional layers of insulation. The old cellulose insulation does not provide an airtight seal like spray-in insulation and fiberglass sheeting.
When you winterize your home with upgraded insulation, it can pay for itself in heating and cooling energy savings, all year round. Upgrading old single-pane windows with double-pane windows will also pay for itself over the seasons and stop you from throwing your money out the windows.
#2: Insulate Your Pipes
Pipes that freeze overnight can burst, causing hundreds or even thousands of dollars in damage to your home and property. While there are many tricks that homeowners use to prevent their pipes from freezing (like leaving the tap running overnight), installation of pipe insulation is one of the best methods that you can use to help keep your pipes warm. One form of insulation is self-adhesive pipe insulation. It’s easy to cut down to the right size and attach to pipes. Simply measure the length of each pipe, use a utility knife to slice the insulation to the right length, then attach. Homeowners who don’t want to shell out the money for the insulation can also wrap their pipes in newspaper and twist ties.
Just remember that some hidden pipes in your home may still be vulnerable to freezing weather. Pipes located around the outside perimeter of the home are especially vulnerable. To keep these pipes from freezing, you may still need to leave these faucets running on very cold nights, and keep your home’s heating system set to at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
#3: Lawn & Yard Care
Lawn and yard care can get complicated. If you want to be thorough, you should aerate and reseed your lawn with a winter fertilizer to see lush greens with profound root growth during the spring.
You should also clean out any plant material stuck in your deck that can cause decay. You have to clean and store your patio furniture in a shed or garage. Also, homeowners should check to ensure that their ground is sloping and draining off water properly.
Drain the water out of any inside pipes and store the garden hoses indoors to protect them from bursting or cracking. Ensuring that your walkways have adequate lighting and that your stairs and handrails are secure is another solid maintenance tip. You don’t want someone to slip and have nothing to save the fall.
#4: Winterize Equipment
To prevent corrosion when you winterize your home, you should clean your lawnmower of any grass clippings and pack it up for safe storage. Sharpening your ice choppers and stocking up on ice melt and kitty litter for walkways and driveways is a smart move. The right tools will help you winterize your home all season long.
You may also decide to bring your snowblower out for easy access. You can tune it up with an oil change and a new spark plug. Furthermore, homeowners should make sure that any tools are oiled with a light coating of linseed oil to prevent corrosion. Spraying your snow shovels with silicone will help the snow to slide right off them.
#5: HVAC Maintenance
You can also winterize your home by having your HVAC system inspected by a professional. Ensuring that there is no buckling or debris in the ductwork and changing any filters. Bleed your radiators to guarantee that your home is heated evenly and efficiently. Also, homeowners should flush out their hot water heaters and slightly increase the thermostat temperature to compensate for the colder weather.
Also, make sure that your air conditioner unit is covered and correctly configured for the winter season. Finally, switch the direction of fans to run clockwise or in reverse, which will blow the hot air back down to the ground as it rises.
It is crucial to make a necessary inspection of your roof to replace any missing or buckled shingles that can form leaks. Cleaning the gutters and ensuring that everything is aligned and draining is also essential.
What Else Can I Do to Winterize My Home?
There are numerous things that you can do to winterize your home that go well beyond the basics. Some people like to add new ceilings over windows that they don’t use to reduce energy losses further. They may have to put their gas grills and other outdoor sports equipment into storage. And other homeowners may have to consider draining and maintaining their sprinkler systems for the cold season. Winterizing your pool is another complicated job better left for a professional.
Smart homeowners will mark the walkways distinctively with posts, which makes it easier to find them when they are in three feet of snow. Another major step is to pull out snow tires from the garage, basement shed, or attic for easy access. Removing branches that have the potential to break off and fall on the roof during a severe storm is another important safety tip.
If you have a garage, you may want to lubricate the tracks with some white lithium grease. Check for any frayed or damaged cables. Clean up your garage now before it is 30 below zero and water freezes in place. If you have a finished garage, you should carry out many of the same energy audits and safety inspections that you would in your home.
Who Do I Call for Help?
Call Benjamin Franklin Plumbing if you need electrical or plumbing assistance. Benjamin Franklin Plumbing can assist you with your fuse box, drain systems, sump pumps, leaky pipes, corroded pipes, blocked pipes, storm drains, and other critical home maintenance issues. Our decades of experience and dedication to customer satisfaction make us the top name to call when you need residential or commercial service.
Don’t let winter catch you off guard. Although we do provide emergency service, you never want anything to progress to that point. An emergency plumbing or electrical repair in the winter can be overwhelming. Trust us to prevent any catastrophes by helping you to winterize your home months in advance.
By following these tips and considering any particular issues that commonly occur in your area, you can save yourself money and rest with peace of mind. Although these steps sound very time consuming, you can complete all the work in a single afternoon or space it out, one element at a time, over your days off.
Benjamin Franklin Plumbing Duncanville serves the Southwest Dallas cities of Cedar Hill, Dallas, DeSoto, Duncanville, Glenn Heights, Grand Prairie, Maypearl, Midlothian, Oak Cliff, Oak Leaf, Ovilla, Red Oak and Waxahachie with a team of certified plumbers. In addition to emergency plumbing repair, some of the plumbing services provided by the company include faucet repair, drain services, toilet repair, plumbing fixture installations, tub and shower installations, kitchen sink repair, faucet installation, water heater repair/replacement, and garbage disposal replacement. Call us today at (972) 263-5010 to schedule an appointment!