Have you had a chance to winterize your home yet? If your schedule is bonkers like ours, you might be behind in your home maintenance. That’s ok, because we have a short checklist of easy tips and tasks that you can get accomplish to be ready for the season.
7 Tips & Tasks to Winterize your Home
Home Winterizing Task: Protect Your Pipes from Freezing
A burst pipe can be a nightmare of water damage and collateral disaster. Water frozen in a pipe can expand enough to burst through copper. There are some simple ways you can prevent this from ever being a concern. Allow your faucets to drip – it’s harder for moving water to freeze. Don’t turn your heat down super low when you leave the house. Wrap pipes with insulation or fiberglass sleeves. Caulk exterior cracks near pipes to prevent their freezing.
Winterizing your home to protect your pipes doesn’t have to be complicated. Turn on an (incandescent) light bulb – just a few degrees of warmth can keep a pipe from freezing. Open your cabinet doors. Make sure warm air gets to exposed pipes under sinks. You would be surprised how the temperature can be lower under your sink than in the surrounding room – opening the cabinet doors allows for air flow.
Home Winterizing Tip: Reverse your Fans
Did you know that fans move air differently depending upon their direction? Switch your fans so they turn clockwise. It creates an updraft to push the rising hot air down. If you have high ceilings where heat collects, moving that air back down can help keep your home feeling warmer. If you’re a thermostat Nazi, it can help keep that dial lower while still feeling comfortable.
Home Winterizing Task: Check Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Detectors
If you haven’t switched over to the new 10-year smoke detectors, do it now. We have a new 2018 Maryland Smoke Detector Law that requires new longer life batteries. But that doesn’t always cover carbon monoxide detectors – and if you have gas, oil or some other combustable heat source you are going to want to get one. Make sure each bedroom and floor of your home has one and the they are hard-wired together.
Home Winterizing Task: Have your Fireplace Inspected
You might use your wood or gas fireplace year round, but it’s important to have it serviced and cleaned on a regular basis. Having your chimney inspected and cleaned is an easy way to ensure soot and combustibles don’t accumulate within your walls.
Do you have a wood fireplace, or use one as a heat source backup? Now is the time to stock up on some extra firewood – as opposed to when the power goes out. No one wants to debate their love of a wooden chair versus their need to stay warm.
Home Winterizing Tip: Mulch your Leaves
If you haven’t already, it might be time for one last mow of the season. But you’re not doing for the grass, you’re doing it to suck up and mulch your leaves. Bagged and then put in a compost heap, those pesky leaves can be broken down into great soil for springtime planting. Also be sure you use up all that gas in there – if left in your lawnmower it can clog your carburetor amongst other things.
Home Winterizing Task: Shut off your Hose/ Exterior Water
Make sure your exterior faucets are turned off and have drained the water by opening the valves. Remember: hose bibs turned off inside and open outside. If you have an older home you may not have the frost-proof faucets which don’t have the same issue. Consider having them swapped out if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to have to remember these things. Don’t forget to have your irrigation system flushed/emptied before it freezes as well.
Home Winterizing Tip: Understand Ice Dams
An ice dam forms when warm air escapes your attic and unevenly warms parts of your roof. The warmth melts the snow and creates an ice dam which builds up water that seeps under your shingles and into your roof. Knowing what signs to look for can help you avoid the damage they cause. Have an expert diagnose the causes and pinpoint solutions for preventing it in the future.
We hope this gets your winter off on the right foot. However, if you find yourselves in need of a contractor to fix some winter damage, or some home improvement specialists, give us a call. We have a rolodex that’s filled with trusted professionals who know how to get the job done right.
The professionals at Wissel Homes know the Central Maryland market because it’s our home too. We live and breathe the local neighborhoods in Howard County, Carroll County, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County and more. We understand what it takes to get the job done right. Please contact us today to set up an appointment to list your home or to start the home buying process. Let our experience help move you into your dream home.