Preparing Your House For Winter Weather: 5 Things You Can Do Today
As fans of HBO already know, “winter is coming” – and with it comes a whole new set of weather-related challenges. If you’re not ready when the temperatures drop and the snow starts falling, you could be in for a rough (and possibly expensive) time. Fortunately, a little preventive action goes a long way.
Start winterizing your home today with these quick tips:
1. Clean Out Your Gutters/Drainpipes
Gutters and drainpipes are meant to gather water from your roof and route it safely away from your home’s foundation. Ideally, you should be cleaning these at least once or twice per year, and autumn is the perfect time to do so.
As trees start shedding leaves and twigs, they tend to collect in your gutters and drainpipes and cause blockages. This may result in water building up and seeping into your walls, attic, and/or basement – which can lead to expensive repairs. And the problem becomes even worse when cold weather rolls in and that water starts to freeze into pipe-blocking chunks of ice. Spend an hour or so on cleanup today, and save yourself a world of hassle later.
2. Check Your Smoke Alarms
When it gets cold outside, we tend to crank up the thermostat and pull the space heaters out of storage. As comfy as that can be, it means the risk of heating equipment fires does increase during winter.
Take a few minutes to go around your home and inspect your smoke and CO2 alarms, ensuring that they’re each functioning properly and replacing the batteries as needed. Continue checking these every month or so throughout the winter season, and remember that the U.S. Fire Administration recommends replacing your smoke alarms entirely every 10 years.
3. Install a Door Sweep
A door sweep is a simple strip of flexible rubber or plastic that attaches to the lower edge of your (outside-facing) doors. For only a few dollars and a few minutes of your time, these can help seal the entrances to your home and stop cold-weather drafts from entering. They also provide a small amount of protection against minor winter flooding from outdoors, which is often caused by snowmelt and can be aggravated by road salt and other deicers (if you live in an area where these are present).
4. Set Up A Water Alarm
Another way to combat the risk of winter (or spring-thaw) flooding is by installing a water alarm in your home. These little-known devices are surprisingly inexpensive, and function much like a fire alarm: they quickly alert you to the presence of unwanted moisture and give you a chance to stop the problem before it spirals out of control. Place them in the most flood-prone areas of the house, especially ones where you don’t spend a lot of time and won’t necessarily see the water yourself – the basement and attic are perfect examples.
5. Have Your Fireplace Inspected
Even if you prefer the warm summer months to the chill of winter, the chance to get cozy by your fireplace again is probably a silver lining. But before you do so, it’s important to run a quick check-up, especially if you haven’t used it for many months.
Shine a flashlight up the chimney and keep an eye out for any signs of cracking bricks, crumbling mortar, or built-up debris. Check it from the outside, too, ensuring that your roof’s flashing is secure and that there are no new tree branches or other fire hazards close to the home. If you’re unsure of anything, or if it’s tricky to get up on your roof safely, you can always call in a professional for a quick inspection and possible repairs.
When you need to repair damage caused by water, fire, storms, and more, SERVPRO of Fontana is the name Californians trust most. Call us today at (909) 357-4337 and let us know how we can help.