With winter in full swing, it’s important to know how to protect your home from the cold temperatures and winter storms ahead. As always, it’s much better to be prepared than to discover costly damage to your home when spring rolls around. Here’s a checklist to get you started!
- Check your chimney and fireplace. If you haven’t had it professionally cleaned yet, now is the time to do so. Creosote can buildup in the chimney and lead to a house fire, which is the last thing anyone wants on a snowy night.
- Clean your gutters. Fall can result in gutters and drains that are clogged with leaves and other debris. If snow and ice gets packed in with the leaves, this can result in damage to your gutters and walls.
- Make sure your windows are sealed and caulked to prevent cold air and moisture from getting into your home.
- Check tools like shovels, ice scrapers, and snow blowers now. You should put your summer and fall yard tools away and make sure that your winter items are ready for use before you need them.
- Installing insulated blinds is a great way to save money on your heating bill. Reversing the direction of any ceiling fans can also help you keep your house warm while saving money.
- Restock winter essentials like salt or ice melt – you don’t want to be caught without this after an ice storm!
- Trim overgrown branches hanging too close to your roof or power lines. Tree limbs that are covered in ice can quickly cause damage and leave you sitting in the dark after a storm.
- Inspect outdoor lighting – this can help you avoid slipping on ice or snow.
- Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses and sprinkler systems to prevent cracks or leaking in your lawn.
- Insulate any exposed pipes in your basement or outdoors.
- Drain all birdbaths and fountains before temperatures hit freezing.
- Add mulch to plant beds or cover plants that are susceptible to frost damage. Also make sure the grading in your yard allows water to run away from the house and foundation. A little work now on your landscape can save you a swampy yard and a headache a few months from now.
After a snow or ice storm, make sure to check your home for damage immediately. This can help prevent a small problem from becoming a costly issue later (as well as improving your chances of being able to submit a successful home owner’s insurance claim). Check the roof for any leaks or damaged shingles. Check all water pipes for signs of leakage, and keep an eye on your water meter for evidence of a hidden leak. Ice buildup in the gutters also needs to be cleared quickly. And of course, if you have any concerns, it’s always best to get a professional to inspect winter storm damage. Remember, if you are looking for a Hendersonville home inspector, give us a call right away!