Winter preparation helps keep your property in good condition and ready for cold weather. Develop a plan to prepare your home for winter so that it can fare better in freezing conditions.
Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Drain the Sprinklers
Removing residual water from the outdoor sprinkler system, before freezing temperatures arrive, prevents the pipes from cracking and bursting. Turn off the water source then open the drain valves. Some contractors use compressed air to blow the water out of the system.
Prepare Your Home for Winter by Inspecting Tree Branches
Branches that grow over the house, driveway, garage, or power lines may fall and cause damage during a winter storm. Survey your property for overhanging branches and look for evidence of dead or damaged limbs. Prune branches and limbs or contact an arborist to take care of trees before bad weather arrives.
Insulate Plumbing Pipes
Exposed pipes in unheated areas such as a crawl space, basement, or running along an exterior wall are potentially problematic when temperatures drop. This is because the water in them can freeze, causing the pipes to crack.
Solve this problem using pipe insulation available at most hardware stores. The pipe insulation can be cut to fit the length of your pipes, then wrapped around them, and secured with duct tape if necessary. Protecting your plumbing will help prevent leaks and water damage in your home.
Mulch Flower Beds
A fresh covering of hardwood mulch in a flower bed helps regulate changes in the soil temperature. The mulch acts as insulation and protects the plants from cold temperatures that may damage their vulnerable roots.
Prevent Frozen Door Locks
For regions that experience a freezing climate, spray a powdered graphite lubricant into every door lock in your home to prevent ice from forming. Ice can make the locks stick, which is an inconvenient situation.
Clean the Gutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Before winter arrives, clean the gutters. Remove leaves, twigs, pine needles, and other debris from the channels to allow water to drain. Clogged gutters are a problem because they cause water to seep under the shingles, damaging the roof frame and structure of your home. When water accumulates in the guttering channels and freezes, it expands and can break the gutter material. Damaged gutters will need to be replaced or require extensive repairs.
Eliminate drafts to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Find drafts in your home by holding a lit candle along door frames and windowsills. If you notice the flame flickering, this indicates airflow. Clean and dry the area, then fill the gaps with a uniform bead of clear or white paintable caulk. Use weatherstripping and window-film kits to better insulate gaps around drafty doors and windows.
There are a few tasks to complete to prepare your home for winter. To keep your family safe and warm, take the necessary steps before the temperatures drop.