If winter weather catches you off guard, and your home is not prepared for heavy snow and cold, you can experience damage ranging from burst pipes to a collapsed roof. Costs for repairs of this scale add up quickly, so prepping your house for the colder months in autumn is a smart approach. By following these tips on how to winterize a house, you can help avoid costly repairs this winter season.
- Reinforce your roof to prevent ice dams
When water builds up behind an ice blockage, it is called an ice dam. Ice dams can cause damage to ceilings and roofs by allowing melting snow to leak into a home. To prevent this from happening, you need to keep the entire roof the same temperature as the eaves. Take this time to increase ventilation, add insulation, and seal off possible air leaks to be ice dam free.
- Insulate pipes
You can avoid flooding and a messy situation due to water pipes freezing and bursting which will lead to water damage by insulating your water pipes with materials such as heating tape and fiberglass.
- Seal air leaks
By installing or replacing the sweep at the base of your door and applying caulk or weather-stripping around your drafty windows will help you save money on your energy bills and also will make your home warmer.
- Seal the attic
Sealing your attic is a great way to avoid heat loss through your roof in the winter, also helps to prevent ice and snow damage. If your roof is clean and clear of snow during the winter, chances are it’s melting due to lost heat. You can prevent this by making sure your attic insulation is 12 inches deep.
- Weather-strip and insulate the doors, windows and attic
Melting snow will lead to mold and mildew problems around your windows and doors. You can prevent this from happening by sealing any gaps with weather-stripping seals or caulking to prevent moisture from getting in.
- Inspect the furnace and chimney
Be sure to get your furnace and chimney cleaned and inspected by a qualified professional each year to ensure safe and efficient use yearly. A poorly maintained furnace can produce dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide, an odorless & colorless gas that can cause flu-like symptoms, confusion and even death. Whether you have an oil, or electric system, you should have it serviced yearly.
- Prune your trees
You will want to have those branches trimmed before snow falls. When ice and snow builds up on branches, it can snap off trees and land on your house. Low-hanging branches can also scrape your and damage shingles
- Install wind-proofing materials
Installing wind-proofing features such as permanent window shutters and impact-resistant shingles can help avoid wind damages this winter. You can also consider purchasing steel doors, high winds can cause tears through other types of material more easily.