Winter is coming… luckily we don’t have to worry about any white walkers coming to our homes (reference for all of you Game of Thrones fans out there). However, it is important to winterize your home in preparation for colder weather. Luckily it only takes a few steps to prevent cold-weather home disasters, such as frozen pipes or flooding from snowmelt.
Winter Weather Tips For Homeowners
Prepare Your Lawn
Aerating and fertilizing your lawn is one of the most important things you can do to encourage year-round lawn health. Experts recommend that you aerate and fertilize before the first freeze. It’s best to mow and water your yard before aeration. And, you want to aerate before you fertilize in order for the fertilizer to penetrate the soil to the grassroots. Water your yard again if possible after fertilization for optimum results.
Winterize Sprinklers and Hoses
One of the main causes of frozen pipes in homes is water in underground sprinkler systems or hoses/spigots. In order to avoid this, you must winterize your sprinkler system. This involves turning off the water and draining the pipe from the inside of your home, then blowing out the water from the sprinkler system underground. Garden hoses should be disconnected from spigots and drained as well.
In addition to raking leaves, you should add soil and mulch gradation to your fall checklist. By grading the soil away from your home, you ensure that moisture doesn’t get pushed toward your home. This becomes especially important as snowfall melts.
Check Your Heat And Change Your Filter
You know you need to change your filter, but you seriously should. It’s a simple (though sometimes tedious) task that keeps your furnace working properly and your energy bills low. It’s also a task that many homeowners forget about for months at a time, which can send your energy bill skyward and potentially contribute to other maintenance issues down the line. So, set a reminder every 3 months!
The time to be sure you’re going to stay warm all winter is before the weather gets too cold. Check your furnace by turning on the heat and the blower to be sure they’re operating as they should.
Pro Tip: Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Everybody thinks of using fans in the summer, but they can help you stay warm in winter too. Set the blades to turn clockwise to circulate warm air from the ceiling down into the room.
Prevent Ice Dams
Ice dams form when heat escapes through the roof and melts snow that’s settled there. That snowmelt flows to your roof’s edge and refreezes, usually at the eaves. Those pretty icicles can signal an ugly ice dam underneath. The problem with an ice dam is that snow that later melts can’t properly drain, so it has to go somewhere… and that might be through a leak in your roof, causing water damage in your home.
Fortunately, a few simple steps before the temperature starts to drop can go a long way toward preventing all of this:
- Clogged gutters and downspouts are the No. 1 cause of ice dams. Clean them out to keep water flowing during the winter.
- Seal places that may allow warm air to leak from your home to your attic, such as around vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, attic hatches, and light fixtures.
- Be sure soffit vents, which are along the eaves of the house and allow air to flow into the attic, are clear.
If you’ve had problems with ice dams before or have reason to suspect you might this year, you can take these additional steps:
- Install snow and ice slides to prevent ice and snow from “bonding” to your roof.
- Install a rubberized ice and water shield beneath the roof shingles, going three to six feet back from the eaves.
- Hire a roofer to install heat cable along the eaves to melt ice.
- Add additional insulation to your attic floor.
Check External Outlets
Be sure your external outlets have covers to protect them from the elements. Also, check for proper insulation around outlets, so you are not losing warm air from your home through your outlets.
Winterizing Your Home Before The Cold Hits Can Save You A Ton Of Hassle And Money
While winterizing may not be topping your fall bucket list, it is so important to knock these items out before the weather gets frightful. We hope these winter weather tips for homeowners will make it easier for you to protect your home for this season and for years to come.
Got a question? Contact us! We’re looking forward to hearing from you.
At KDA Homes, our mission is to be pioneers in smarter home design leading the way for sustainability in residential development and green building. If you’re interested in being a part of a sustainable community in Ashland, Oregon please contact us today to learn more about KDA Homes currently on the market.