Winter weather has many challenges for homeowners. This is especially true for those who live in areas of the country where there is extreme cold weather. They face freezing rain, power outages, blizzards and ice storms. Taking measures to ensure that you have the resources to deal with winter’s challenges before it gets into full swing is very important. Basic necessities to protect your family include stocking up on warm blankets, extra supplies of food and water and a transistor radio with fresh batteries in the event of a power failure. There are also five important precautions to take to protect your home from the ravages of cold weather that will result in saving you time and money.
Make sure your gutters and downspouts are clear of leaves and debris so that ice does not form in them. Caulk and weather strip doors and windows to keep heat from escaping your home. Make sure that the siding and shutters are secure in the event of a storm. Spray an ice repellent or use sand or rock salt on the walkway and steps before the storm. This will help reduce tripping hazards.
Check that pipes in unheated areas of your home are wrapped in insulation to prevent them from bursting or freezing. Be sure to have a supply of flashlights, matches and a portable generator in case of a power outage. Equally important is to be sure that there are working carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, as well a fire extinguisher. Do a pre-winter maintenance of your furnace and water heater and have your chimney swept and cleaned. Be sure to include a fresh supply of firewood.
Trim Tree Branches
Check that overgrown or dead tree branches are trimmed or removed to prevent them
from breaking and damaging your home. Do not underestimate the extra weight of snow and ice.
Replace Old Windows
Don’t wait until the weather gets cold to replace old and drafty windows. Consider replacing them with double pane energy efficiency windows. Fas Windows and Doors offers high quality windows that are hurricane resistant. Find windows that can protect against outside intruders and hold up in storms. Depending on the size of your home and the number of windows, replacing them will be a well worth investment for many years to come.
Water Heater Insulation
Similar to insulating your walls, cover your hot water tank during the brutal winter months with an insulation blanket. This is an inexpensive way to save money each month by improving your homes energy efficiency.
Early prevention is the key to keeping your home in good repair and being well-prepared for the challenges of the winter season. These tips can help make sure that your home and family are protected when a big storm hits.
Anita is a freelance writer from Denver, CO. She enjoys writing about home, family, business and finance. A mother of two, she enjoys spending time with her family and reading a good book when she isn’t writing.