Old man winter is staring us down. It was a great fall. The weather was unbelievable, but now we need to get ready for winter. Time to get out our wool hats, gloves, and scarves. We should do the same thing for our homes. Winter, cold temperatures, and nasty weather can wreak havoc and we should be prepared.
I suggest the usual stuff for windows and doors. Get weather stripping to prevent drafts. Get your heater serviced early. You do not want a breakdown during a long, cold snap. Be sure to protect pipes that are sensitive to drafts, or that are against outside walls. Last year, five of our clients had water losses related to pipes that ruptured due to the cold weather. One of these losses caused over $100,000 of damage.
Heading out of town to escape the winter? Whether you are leaving for a weekend, a week, or the season, be sure to maintain heat in the house. Leave doors to cabinets and cupboards open in case the heat does go off. It will help prevent the pipies from freezing and breaking. Make sure you have someone check your chouse at least once a day, too.
Remove, drain, and store your garden hose. Leaving it in place can damage your outside faucet. If you have an outside oil or propane fill, mark it with a driveway flag. This will enable the delivery man to access the fill line easily. Be sure to remove ay debris from your rain gutters. If they get clogged, you can inucr ice dams and that can ruin your roof and cause significant interior damage.
If it does snow, make sure that you clear the snow from the fire hydrant near you. Make sure that your house number is visible at all times. Put it on the mailbox, porch post, or on a seprate sign in your yard. It will be important if emergency responders need to get to you in bad weather. (This helps even if the weather is not bad.)
It is just a short time before we are waiting for the ground hog to let us know if it will be an eraly spring. Until then, get prepared.