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Preparing Your Home for Winter
By Kimberly Duncan
As the leaves continue to fall from the trees and temperatures inch closer toward the freezing mark, it is time to ask yourself if your home is prepared for winter. Elemental factors during the coldest months of the year can wreak havoc on certain areas of your home if you don't take some necessary steps now. Proper preparation can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs later on.
Winterizing a home is an inside out process. The exterior is exposed to the elements, but it is the interior that suffers the most if you don't winterize. Leaky roofs and uninsulated basements can lead to broken pipes and serious internal damage to your plumbing system. The most vulnerable element of your home during sub-zero weather is your water supply. Protecting it begins on the outside of your house and also involves some steps that you need to take on the inside.
The following areas need to be addressed to prepare your home for winter:
Each of these is essential to the comfort of loved ones and household pets during winter months and each is vulnerable to the damage that can be done by freezing cold temperatures, high winds and excessive moisture. Some parts of the country experience heavy snow, while others have extreme cold and torrential rains during the winter. Whatever your personal situation might be, taking these steps can be useful to you. More comprehensive information can be found on other pages of this site, but for a general overview this is what you need to look for:
Beginning at the highest point, your roof and the gutters and downspouts that drain water from it should be your main concern. Snow and rain can damage a roof that is not properly shingled and enter into your home causing problems with water damage, mold and mildew. Make sure that your roof is leak-free and insulated properly.
Your plumbing system, which includes your pipes and furnace, needs to be serviced before winter. Pipes need to be insulated and the furnace needs to be cleaned before temperatures dip down below zero. You should also shut off and drain any outside spigots to avoid freezing.
Prevention and preparation are the keys to avoiding damage and discomfort in the wintertime. Many of the suggestions outlined here are simple precautionary measures that you can address yourself without incurring any cost, but some require the help of a professional. The expense of these services is minimal compared to the fees for repairs if you don't take these steps. Your home is the most valuable asset that you have. Take good care of it and keep it warm and dry for the winter.
Learn More about How to Prepare Your Home for Winter in this Video:
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