With winter comes frigid temperatures and even severe storms in various parts of the United States. In the winter, the weather can range from dustings of snow to blizzards and sleet. Some storms can last for several days, potentially disrupting travel plans and causing power outages. But, a storm may not have to be as severe as you’d expect to damage your home. So, it’s wise to prepare your home for winter storm damage before the start of the winter season.
Here are our top tips for winter home protection across the country.
Install Attic Insulation
With attic insulation, you can effectively reduce your home’s heating costs while protecting your roof against icicles and ice dams. Considering that energy efficiency guidelines are a modern addition to home construction, many older homes weren’t built with insulation. So, homeowners need to be proactive and ensure that their homes are properly insulated – especially before winter strikes! Without insulation, much of the heat produced by your home’s furnace will leak out through the ceilings, floors, and walls.
Before winter strikes, check on your home’s insulation. Existing insulation may benefit from an upgrade. Over time, insulation can get damaged. Tears, rips, and water damage are all common results of wear and tear in home insulation. If your insulation is due for a replacement, make sure to enlist a professional team to replace it for you. This will ensure that it’s installed properly, for maximum energy efficiency.
Clean The Gutters
The condition of your gutters can impact your home’s ability to withstand winter storms. When outdoor debris gets wet with precipitation, it’s surprisingly weighty. If this debris ends up in your gutters and freezes in low winter temperatures, it can cause a host of problems for your home. Gutters aren’t constructed to handle the weight of frozen debris and could require replacement as a result. Additionally, debris in your gutters will prevent proper drainage during winter storms, potentially causing water damage to your roof, siding, and foundation.
Frozen debris in your gutters can also cause them to sag. Sagging gutters are not only an aesthetic problem, but a functional one, too. When gutters are sagging, they can’t effectively drain water away from your home. Left alone, sagging gutters may also come loose, potentially leaving your home without a gutter system.
Clogged gutters can cause ice dams in the winter. When your gutters are clogged, melted snow can build up on the edges of your roof and freeze in low temperatures. This ridge of ice will cause melted snow to pool on your roof, eventually leading to damage and a potential roof leak.
The best way to protect your gutter system from winter storms is to ensure that it’s clean before and throughout the winter season. By keeping your gutters clean and clear, you can ensure that they’ll properly drain precipitation during winter storms.
Your furnace will be well-used in the winter. Especially if a severe winter storm strikes, you’ll need your furnace to be in top working condition. So, before winter rolls around, complete routine furnace maintenance. This includes changing the filters, dusting the vents, and completing a test run before the temperatures drop. You don’t want to wait until temperatures plunge to ensure that your furnace is working properly. By checking your furnace at the start of the season, you’ll have time to call in an HVAC repair team if necessary before it gets unbearably cold.
Routine furnace maintenance will also ensure that your furnace operates as efficiently as possible. An energy-efficient heating system is beneficial for the health of the planet, as well as the amount of your monthly utility bills!
Check The Duct Work
The ductwork directs hot air into your home. While your ducts are mostly hidden in your home, they’re crucial to your home throughout the winter season. Over time, the ducts can become damaged. Ducts may get flattened, torn, or even dried out over time. Dried-out ductwork may fall down and cause hot air to leak out of your home.
Damaged ductwork will keep your home from heating up in a winter storm. To prevent this issue, check your ductwork before winter rolls around and schedule any necessary repairs.
You’ll thank yourself for preparing your home before the winter season and lowering your risk for costly damages.