There’s no denying that winter brings with it some inconveniences, not least of which is the cold temperatures that can wreak havoc on our homes if precautions aren’t taken to keep them warm and cozy. The good news, however, is that there are plenty of ways to ensure that your home stays safe and comfortable all winter long.
It may seem like a lot of work at first, but remember that preventing problems will help keep your home comfortable throughout the year and save you time and hassle later. Here are six tips for keeping your home safe in winter.
Weatherproof Doors and Windows
If your doors and windows don’t have weather stripping, add it before winter sets in. Make sure you secure all your screens, too. It’s easy to do: remove them from your window frames and re-install them after spraying a bead of silicone or petroleum jelly along their edges. This makes a watertight seal.
You can also buy self-adhesive strips at home stores that work well for patio doors and sliding glass entrances. For added protection against drafts, hang plastic insulation curtains over doorways as soon as it starts getting cold outside. This will keep heat from escaping as quickly.
Clear All Drains
Check if all of your drains are free and clear of any hair, gunk, or other debris that might clog them since they might get stuck more when the winter comes. Keep a pair of bent nose pliers by your sink and keep your clean-out plugs accessible so you can remove whatever you find. After doing so, use a little plunger to unblock anything still stuck.
Put rugs out on an incline and pick up leaves from around your home. A few inches of snow are enough to catch on leaves and sticks, which will make it much harder to keep your walkway clear. Even if you have a dedicated snowblower, it can still be helpful to move things aside, so you don’t have to fight fallen branches when clearing.
Insulate Attic Areas
Ensuring you have an insulated and draft-free attic area is essential to keeping your home warm in winter since cold air can easily come inside your home. Adding insulation can reduce heat loss from your attic area by 50 percent or more, saving you money on energy bills and keeping your family toasty when it’s cold outside. Ensure that there are no leaks or cracks that would allow cold air to enter your home and add attic insulation if necessary.
You can insulate your attic by installing fiberglass insulation, which is inexpensive and easy to install. In addition to improving heat retention, fiberglass insulation will also reduce noise from your attic area. If you have a lot of extra time and energy, you could also consider adding cellulose insulation to help provide an extra boost of heat resistance.
Prepare Containers for Water Leaks
One of winter’s biggest dangers is water damage. The longer you wait to fix a leak, and even small leaks can cause significant problems when they’re left untreated. Water pipes that freeze and burst can ruin your floors and cabinets, and even your foundation.
Fortunately, you can do some easy things to prevent these issues from cropping up: filling containers with water so that they won’t freeze, cleaning any outside faucets regularly, and using heat tape on exposed pipes. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to keeping your home safe through winter.
Check Your Heating System at All Times
You’d be surprised how easy it is to forget about your heating system once winter hits. It takes less than 24 hours to get frostbite, so make sure you check your thermostat every morning, even if it’s not cold yet. Not only will you keep yourself safe, but you can save on energy costs by ensuring that your home is never too warm or too cold during winter.
If your heating system stops working altogether, call a technician immediately. It can save you from losing important electrical components and save hundreds of dollars down the line.
Know When to Seek Help
You can do a lot to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, but if you live in an area that’s particularly susceptible to them or your home is very old, you may need professional help. An experienced ice dam removal service will use specialized tools to keep ice from accumulating behind your gutters. Contacting a company early can save you time and money when spring rolls around.
With other problems in your home that winter may bring, you can always seek professional help instead of doing them on your own. Otherwise, you will be putting yourself at risk to do something harmful to yourself if you’re not trained enough to do it.
After you’ve invested time, effort, and money into your property, it’s worth doing what you can to keep it safe during inclement weather. By following these six tips, you can ensure that both your property and family are well-protected throughout winter.