Winter is here, and your home is probably already showing signs of the traditional winter complaints. Hopefully by this time you’ve taken the initial steps to winterize your cabin (whether you close it up for the winter or continue to use it). However, this isn’t necessarily the end of what you can do to help protect your home this winter. Most people are under the impression that they can only winterize their home before the winter and there isn’t anything they can do after the cold sets in. We believe that there are several things you can and should do during the winter months that will make your home more comfortable and keep damage further at bay. Winters in the Mid-west can get bitterly cold, so it’s a good idea to stay on top of ways to protect your home.
If you haven’t already checked the insulation of your home, now would be a good time to do it. You just need to visit your local hardware store and get weather stripping and caulk. If you feel any drafts coming from gaps in doors and windows, you should line the gaps with either caulk or weather stripping, depending on where the leak is. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference it makes.
You should also check the insulation in your attic. If heat from your home escapes to the roof, it can cause the snow to melt and lead to the formation of ice dams. Ice dams can lead to leakages and other such problems. It’s a better idea to insulate your attic properly to prevent ice dams.
Cold weather is BAD for pipes, especially if the insulation is poor or non-existing. Pipes tend to freeze with cold temperatures, to help avoid this you should wrap them in insulating tape (inexpensive and found at your local hardware store). You should inspect the pipes in vulnerable areas where this is no heating or warmth. If you don’t insulate the pipes well in these areas, they will freeze and might even burst. That can lead to water damageand a lot of expense down the line. Insulate the pipes in areas that are more likely to get cold like the attic, the crawl space, and the basement is a good idea.
Go around your home and look for signs of worn stain and failing sealant, ice build-up, roof leaks, weather stripping damage, etc…
Look for properly sealed joints and gaps and repair if your able, this goes a long way in preventing cold drafts during the winter months.
Be sure your firewood isn’t stored on your porch or deck or next to your home. One thing is for certain, along with the firewood comes a whole community of insect pests, as discussed in our previous blog.
Some of these issues you can address immediately, and others will make for a good Spring to-do list to help insure the longevity of your home. We encourage our friends and clients to always complete a pre-winter home maintenance check-list or call us so we can add you to our client annual home maintenance list. In addition, and if your able, we recommend during winter maintenance checks for anything that has or may cause a bigger problem down the road.