Monday, October 10, 2016

Guest Post: Tips to Winterize Your Home

Photo by Dave S. via Flickr
A guest post from Dolores "Dolly" Santos,

5 Tips to Help Your Home Withstand Winter Weather

Freezing temperatures, snow, and ice can wreak havoc on your home during the cold winter months. From damage to your roof to frozen pipes, drafts that make your heating system inefficient (and costly), and other mishaps, there are more than enough reasons to take steps to help your home withstand the harsh winter weather. Here are a few tips for helping your home get through the winter season.

Remove Trees and Dead Branches

If you have trees in your yard, particularly if they have limbs that hang over your roof, trim them and remove any dead limbs before winter. Dead or long, thin limbs aren’t able to hold up as well to gusty winds and the weight of snow or ice, meaning they’re more likely to snap or fall off and land on your roof. If this should happen to a large limb, you might be in serious trouble.

Make Sure You Have Adequate Insulation

A poorly insulated home is a drafty, chilly home in the winter. But that’s not the only problem: inadequate insulation increases the likelihood of ice dams forming on your roof. Attic insulation thickness should be at least R30 and walls should be R11. If you aren’t sure about your insulation thickness, it is worth the cost to have a professional evaluate it for you. Proper insulation plays a factor in keeping heating costs down, protecting your roof, reducing moisture problems, and more generally, keeping you and your family comfortable when temperatures plummet.

Winterize Your Pool

Winterizing a swimming pool, whether above-ground or in-ground, is necessary in areas where the winter temperatures drop below the point of freezing (and advisable even in areas that stay warmer throughout the year). Why? Water expands as it freezes, causing damage to liners that are costly to replace, not to mention damage to your pool’s plumbing and filtration system.

Eliminate Drafts and Cracks That Allow Heat to Escape

Home heating costs are on the rise, so an especially cold winter is particularly harsh on the budget. One of the most common reasons homeowners face rising home heating costs is that drafts and cracks throughout the home allow the heat to escape, making your heating system work even harder to maintain a comfortable temperature inside your home. Inspect your home to identify drafty areas and any cracks around windows and doors, then use indoor caulk and other materials to close these gaps.

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