Winter is here, along with the impending weather conditions that cause many of us to bundle up and hunker down until spring. And to remain warm and safe, you rely on your home as the shell that protects you against the elements.
Winter Storm Uri, touching down in Texas this past winter, was a good reminder that preparation is key for inclement weather. Close to 4.5 million homes and businesses went without power, more than 100 people lost their lives, and an estimated $295 billion in damages were sustained. Though extreme, this example is a testament to what can happen when an area is underprepared for the weather it receives. And it’s a good reminder to take steps that ensure your home is well-equipped to keep you warm all winter long.
Five ways to prepare your home for winter
Getting ready for the cold weather and “winterizing” your home takes a few key steps. These include the following:
Check your heating and air systems.
This can include an annual maintenance inspection from a reputable HVAC provider, plus changing your filters. The service technician will inspect your furnace to be sure it’s ready to work when you need it. They will also make sure your furnace and water heater are properly vented, to prevent exposure to deadly carbon monoxide gas.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Be sure these are in working order with new batteries. And if you don’t already have a carbon monoxide detector, get one.
Pipes are sealed and insulated.
Frozen pipes can burst, leading to water damage, as well as no running water, and costly repairs. You can help protect them from freezing by installing insulation, sealing any cracks, applying electrical heating tape, and sealing up crawl spaces to protect against the elements.
Protect exterior wood.
Wood used in decks is usually lumber that’s been treated for pressure and rot. However, exterior trim around doors and windows is often made of softwood that can quickly deteriorate. Preserve this wood with paint, caulk, and seal.
Seal hard surfaces and masonry.
Concrete surfaces can freeze and crack in the winter. But by applying a concrete sealer on a regular basis, you can help reduce cracking and extend the life of patios, driveways, and walkways.
Make sure your home is effectively covered
This list is a starting point, but what if you’re not sure of the best steps to take to winterize your home? Odell Studner can help. Contact us for an assessment to be sure your home or property is effectively protected from the elements.