As New Englanders know, winter can be a beautiful time of year, but winter weather can wreak havoc on your home. While the past year’s winters have been on the milder side, old man winter’s impact shouldn’t be under estimated. Freezing temperatures, ice, and snow can cause ice dams, slips and falls, and other unpleasant winter-related issues. Properly maintaining your home may aid in keeping common home problems at bay this winter.
Use these 10 tips to help you avoid winter woes at home and truly enjoy the chilly season.
- Stop the drafts. Repair caulking around doors and windows, along with any weather stripping. In addition, seal any cracks in foundation walls.
- Check your fireplace and chimney. Have a chimney sweep check your chimney for any debris or cracks, and clean your fireplace.
- Prevent ice dams. Clear your roof and gutters of slush after heavy snowstorms to prevent ice damming.
- Clean heating vents. Be sure your vent pipes are clear of any obstructions and clear away any dust and debris.
- Stop slippery surfaces. Purchase salt, ice melt or sand before the snow falls. These provide extra traction for slippery sidewalks, steps and driveways. If you have pets, be sure you use pet-safe materials
- Check for leaks. Check your attic and crawlspace for signs of a water leak. Be sure to repair any leaks as soon as possible.
- Turn off outside water. Turn off the water supply to outside faucets to prevent broken pipes.
- Keep entryways clean. To prevent slippery indoor surfaces, use mats and boot trays for wet shoes and boots. Place a tray underneath clothing hooks when drying wet items.
- Pack a winter emergency kit. Prepare a kit that includes bottled water, nonperishable food, flashlights, first-aid supplies, batteries, a smart- phone charger and a blanket in case of an emergency.
- Protect your air conditioner. Place a sheet of plywood with a few bricks on top of your AC to prevent falling icicles and debris from damaging your condensing unit. Also, remove and store any window air conditioner units.