Tips for Winter Comfort and Preparation,brought to you by your savvy Home Inspector.
Keeping warm and dry during Winter storms becomes a priority for you and especially for your home. We have coats, scarves, gloves, toques, boots and so on to keep us warm but how prepared is your home for the onslaught of Winter?
There are steps you can take to ensure your home is better prepared and it is best to start before the first cold snap. There are plenty of things to do around the house to mitigate damage or heat- loss.
- Drain outside water hoses and outdoor faucets, before the 1st freeze sets in. You will have to shut off the water supply to drain those particular lines, unless you have freeze-resistant hose bibbs. This prevents any bursting of pipes and flooding – due to freezing and expansion. Water expands when it turns to ice!!
- Learn how to shut off all utilities. It is always a good idea to know how to turn off the gas, electricity and water in your home. Always wait for service personnel to turn them back on, especially, as to gas.
- Secure all outdoor objects or move them inside. Grills, patio furniture and flowerpots are common household items that can become airborne in high winds. Do not use grills inside or store propane tanks inside the house or garage.
- Caulking and weather stripping. Inspect all of your windows to make sure sealant hasn’t worn out and is in need of re-doing. Naturally, a tight seal around windows prevents energy loss going out and moisture from getting in.
- Do you have a fireplace? Gas or wood-burning. Get it cleaned so everything is working properly. A flue that can’t close properly means cold air is getting in and warm air is escaping…when you’re not using it, that is. A properly cleaned fireplace means less of a fire hazard as well.
- If you have a furnace or boiler in your home, get it serviced. Clean out the air ducts and replace the filter. A tip-top shape furnace/boiler is cleaner, can save you money and extend the life of the appliance. Plus carbon monoxide is bad news –Get a CO detector, if you don’t have one less than 5 years old.
- This one is cool…cool to be warm. If you have ceiling fans, check to see if they can operate in reverse. This has the advantage of circulating warm air throughout the home and can actually help lower your heating bill. Who knew, right?
- Get a programmable thermostat(s) – upgrade from anything less.
- Speaking of drafty cracks – One of the best inventions of the 20th century was the Draft Snake. Those long, snake-like things that you put at the base of an outside door to prevent a draft. It was invented during the Great Depression as a way to save on heating bills…and it did!
- We all have them. Get your roof inspected for any deficiencies. This doesn’t necessarily mean shelling out many thousands for an entire roof, but perhaps there are weak spots where water can ingress and only a quick and affordable repair is needed.
- While you have someone looking at your roof, get them to look at the venting to make sure it’s working properly. Bathroom vents, of course, can build up moisture and lead to rot. Same for your dryer vent. Make sure flashing around said vents are in good shape and secured properly.
- While you have someone looking at the roof and vents, get them to check/unclog your gutters. Gutters that cannot drain will have resting water which, of course, can result in water ingress into your home and damage to the gutters and downspouts themselves, if ice builds up.
The earlier you start to prepare for Winter, the easier you’ll feel when the cold, rain and snow hits; good advice from Glenn and his team.