Preparing your home for the Winter season might not be the top agenda on your checklist. After all, Winter is a great time to enjoy the fall foliage, go apple picking, or just cozy up in the house with a warm drink. However, the cold weather and storms that come with the winter season can be fierce and wreak havoc on your home and yard if you’re not prepared. In fact, Winter storms caused around $15 billion in losses in 2021 – which could have been avoided if precautions had been taken.
As the cold months begin, you should take measures to ensure your home (even a new construction home) is ready for the Winter season. While preparing your house for Winter might be a little overwhelming, these tips will ensure your home is ready – Plus, it’s easy and inexpensive, so you can always do it yourself.
What Are the Common Problems If Homeowners Don’t Prepare?
Winter storms are one of the significant aspects that cause damage to homes each year, so it’s crucial to understand the common issues to expect and how to be prepared. From roofs to basements, any area of your house could be a potential target of storm damage. To ensure you’re better prepared, here are some common issues that could damage your home during the Winter season:
- Frozen and clogged gutters
- Foundation cracks
- Burst pipes
- Roof damage
By understanding the basics of what can go wrong with homes during the Winter season, you can ensure everything goes right and avoid unnecessary costly repairs. Here are a few tips you can use to prevent problems during Winter and safeguard your house altogether.
Tips Homeowners Can Use to Prepare Their House for the Winter Season
1. Clean The Gutters
You should clean your gutters each season, but Winter is usually the most critical time. If your area accumulates a lot of water from rain storms, your house will have to carry all the extra weight. Additionally, if the gutters bear excessive weight, they could get pulled from your home.
The more water gets trapped in the gutters, the more damage it will cost you, which can lead to thousands of dollars in incurred losses. Perhaps the primary reason for cleaning your gutters is to avoid water damage, so ensure the water has a route to go to prevent damage.
2. Cut Tree Branches
Cutting tree branches above your house can help you avoid roof damage if a branch breaks. During Winter, the winds tend to be heavy, and chances of experiencing a rain storm are high, so tree branches are prone to breaking from the weight, even if the tree is big and healthy.
Moreover, if the branches are heavy, there’s a chance they will pierce through the roof and create internal damage. But if you can’t cut the tree branches yourself, you can always hire a landscaping company to examine the trees and include any extra adjustments if necessary.
3. Check Your Insurance Coverage in Advance
The time before Winter is mostly the best time to consult with your home insurance company to re-check your insurance coverage. If you did any renovations during summer that might add value to the house, ensure they’ve been covered in case you experience any damages during Winter.
We also recommend you confirm if your policy could cover other potential damages during Winter, like flooding and interior fires caused by candles, electronics, Christmas trees, etc. Understanding how your policy works in relation to damages before Winter could help you identify any gaps in coverage.
4. Enhance Your Home’s Systems
Winter is the best time to utilize heating systems. Whether you use a gas or electric furnace, you should have a technician clean and enhance your furnace to ensure smooth running in the winter months.
You also need to change the batteries in your smoke detectors at least once every year, and Winter seems the best time to do so because when the temperatures drop, the batteries may cease to function. What’s more, if you use carbon monoxide detectors, change your batteries and test them if the model allows it.
Sparing time to prepare your house for the winter months and performing basic home maintenance can significantly help you minimize damages to your home sustained from winter storms and even help you avoid the damages altogether. Once you begin inspecting and winterizing your home, you’ll be able to sleep peacefully, knowing you’re ready to weather winter months.