Fall has arrived and the cold weather is coming on fast. Here are a handful of helpful home maintenance tips and tricks designed to protect your property during the cold season. A few simple steps can reduce your risk of damage to your property as well as help you better deal with snow and ice melt during the spring season. Preparing for the cold season, preventing damage during thaw, and properly preparing for snow melt and water run off is the focus of this article. These home maintenance tips are simple but can help prepare your home for harsh weather while reducing the risk of potential problems in spring.
Fall & Winter Home Maintenance Tips
The cold weather and freezing moisture of winter time poses several risks to your property. Increased heating costs, poor insulation, blocked rain gutters and spouts, as well as old plumbing can all wreak havoc on your home during the most inopportune times and coldest months of winter. In addressing these areas of property maintenance with a little attention, you can reduce your costs as well as risk of damage to your property.
Clean Rain Gutters & Spouts
Fall weather is often accompanied by increased rain, loss of foliage, cold weather, and other environmental factors. When your home’s rain gutters become clogged with leaves and debris, water in unable to run off. If drain spouts are not attached or are not clear for water to run; water can pool up and collect along the foundation of your home. This water heats and cools several times during pre-winter freeze. The water that repeatedly expands due to freezing weather and shrinks due to warmer weather can cause damage to your foundation by creating pressure cracks and other damage. Cleaning your rain gutters and run off spouts ensures that water run off is directed away from the home and its foundation. Sealing any leaks in your home’s exterior or foundation after this process will help to ensure that no water enters your property during spring melt season.
Service Outdoor Sprinkler Systems
When cold weather hits your part of the woods, shut off your outdoor watering system and ensure no water remains in the pipes. Watering system pipes that still have water in them can freeze and cause bursts. Burst pipes then allow water to collect and pool, often times along the home where your flower beds live. Protecting your pipes reduces the risk of burst water pipes and water damage to your home.
Protect & Insulate Your Plumbing
Plumbing problems tend to happen at the most inopportune times. Harsh winter weather with extreme cold can damage your plumbing within the house if certain precautions are not taken. Seasonal shifts in temperature put stress on your pipes. A few steps during the cold weather season can reduce your risk of damaged pipes, flooded basements, and water damage to your home. Always protect your plumbing from freezing. Pipe insulation or spray foam is a great option to insulate your property’s pipes and protect them from extreme cold. Fixing any plumbing problems before the cold season is always best.
Winter Weather Plumbing Tips
- Don’t wait to fix plumbing problems until fall or winter. Everything from leaking faucets to old pipes can damage your home with water if they are to break during the winter’s coldest months.
- Drain your water heater to reduce sediment build up in the tank. Sediment build up results in rust and that finds its way into drinking water, cooking water, and bath water. If your water heater is already too rusted or old, consider replacing it with a newer, energy efficient model.
- Disconnect outdoor hoses until warm weather returns. Wrap up your garden hoses and secure them indoors. Always drain the hoses first and keep safe in a warm place. Water left in outdoor hoses causes damage.
- Close drain shut-off valves leading to the outdoors. If you have any interior shut-off valves that run to outdoor faucets, close the valve and drain the line through the exterior tap. This way, water doesn’t expand and cause burst pipes that lead to flooding and other damage.
- Clean your home’s sump pump pit. Before cold weather arrives, inspect and clean your sump pump and the pit in which it resides. Pumps can freeze and therefore stop working. If your sump pump malfunctions during spring melting, water can enter your basement and cause massive damages to your property. Do yourself a favor and inspect your pumps and pump pits during the fall to ensure that they work properly during spring.
Protect & Insulate Your Home
Insulate your home’s windows and doors, where possible. Poor heating causes your HVAC system to run more. This in turn puts stress on your heating and cooling system. Insulating your home before the coldest months of the year saves you dollars as well as extends the life of your heating and cooling system.
In following these simple steps, you can reduce the potential risk of water and flood damage to your home during winter and spring months. A little bit of precaution and effort can save you and your home a world of pain and effort. We hope you find these tips helpful. As always; if you have questions, contact us anytime. We love to help our customers remain safe and prepared for disasters at all times.