Cotton-soft white snow makes for an endearing sight, but snow and hail also make a home’s exterior and interiors prone to long-term damage. Ice dams and frozen plumbing are a homeowner’s worst nightmare, but they can be avoided with round-the-clock maintenance when the snow has actually fallen.
However, it’s the pre-weather prep that can help shield your house against the harsh winter weather. Here are seven simple tips to weatherproof your home before the onset of winter so you won’t have to spend your holidays troubleshooting.
Safeguard your flooring
We begin with flooring because it is often neglected in a bid to secure the exteriors against harsh weather. Snow, ice and road salt can wreak havoc on your home’s flooring, particularly the entryway area.
Protect your flooring against unnecessary and easily avoidable damage by placing thick anti-slip floor mats at each entry point. Place one mat outside and another one inside the door to minimize the entry of snow, salt and sand into your home. Place a shoe brush or snow scraper at the entrance and a waterproof mat inside for keeping wet shoes.
Purchase extra supplies of all essentials
Snowstorms can bring power outages and disrupt the daily essentials supply chain, causing shortages at your local grocery stores. To avoid getting stuck with no food and no light, prep well in advance by buying extra food supplies, potable water (you can never predict a pipe freeze), batteries, flashlights, essential medication and a battery-run charger for your phone.
Also replenish your first-aid kit and don’t forget to get extra food for your pets. Install smoke detectors in every room, replace old batteries in CO and smoke detectors and ensure that you have enough wood for the fireplace.
Keep your pipes from freezing
Your plumbing is especially vulnerable in freezing temperatures, as even the slightest exposure to cold air can freeze a pipe and crack it, while also leaving you wanting for water and drainage.
Ensure that your home’s pipes are insulated against freezing air, close the pipe openings with insulation and inspect and seal the cracks, vents and holes from where air could possibly blow into the pipes.
Ensure your roof is in top shape
If there’s any part of a home that suffers maximum exposure to snow and hail, it’s the roof. A home’s roof requires ongoing inspection and maintenance to be in top shape, and more so at the outset of extreme weather.
Check your roof or have it professionally inspected for broken or missing shingles, damaged flashing or siding, cracked sealing, leakage, and problems with the insulation or ventilation. Do some DIY maintenance by clearing out the gutters, check the attic for any issues with ventilation and keep a roof rake handy to clear out the snow as soon as it falls.
A poorly maintained or damaged roof will suffer even more during excessive snowfall and may need complete replacement once the weather has cleared. Find out about local Boise roofing companies, get a free inspection of your roof and have the necessary repairs done in time to avoid further damage.
Get the fireplace cleaned
Clogged and neglected chimneys are not only a fire hazard, they can also cause CO poisoning. Hire a certified professional to clean the fireplace and chimney. A clogged or debris-ridden wood-fired chimney can lead to a fire. Even a gas fireplace should be thoroughly inspected for any kind of debris or bird waste.
Always keep the heat running
Get your HVAC serviced by a trained technician before the temperature dips. Change the air filters and check the ventilation pipes for blockage. To maintain warm temperature and protect your pipes from freezing, keep the heating on even when going out.
This may sound like a waste of power, but consider the energy you’ll need to get the temperature up to your desired level when you return home. Add to it the hassle of dealing with frozen pipes and you may opt to leave the heat on at all times. To optimize costs, program your thermostat to a certain temperature when you’re away.
Check your home’s surrounding area
While you’re doing everything to protect your home against the impending snowfall, it is also important to spend some time inspecting the outdoor area for any overgrown trees and branches that could damage your home in case of a snow storm or strong winds.
Trim the greens so that they won’t fall on your house and damage the roofing or other external elements.