Winter is coming here in the South. While this may not be something you’re excited for, it is the reality. Many homeowners fail to realize the importance of properly winterizing their home.
A homeowner who fails to properly winterize their home puts themselves and their home in danger of a variety of consequences. Depending on where your home is located, you may experience a very mild winter or you may experience a very harsh and cold winter.
If you live in an area that experiences colder temperatures and/or snow accumulation, it’s critical you know what steps to take to winterize your home.
Below is a guide on how to properly winterize your home, both the exterior and interior of your home. By following the steps below, you greatly increase the chances that you have any problems this coming winter.
How To Winterize The Exterior Of Your Home
It’s vital to properly winterize the exterior of your home. There are a variety of tasks that you should complete, prior to winter, to make sure you don’t have any problems during the winter months. Below are some of the most common exterior tasks to complete before the winter.
Inspect Your Roof
It’s very important before winter hits, that you inspect your roof. A proper roof inspection can provide “peace of mind” and also can help eliminate the chance of a costly repair.
The first decision that you need to make when it comes to a roof inspection is whether you will perform the inspection or you will hire a professional roofing contractor. Many homeowners don’t like even the idea of climbing a latter to get on their roof while others don’t mind at all.
If you decide to inspect your roof yourself there are certain things you should be on the look out for. It’s important you make sure that all the shingles are intact and securely attached. During the cold winter months, it’s not uncommon to experience high winds, which can ultimately lead to loose shingles being blown off your roof.
Additionally, if you decide to inspect your own roof, be on the lookout for holes or cracks in any of the flashing around your roof vents. Holes or cracks in roof flashing can lead to water penetration inside your home, so it’s important to make sure the flashing is solid and intact on your roof.
Roof issues are one of the most common home inspection findings in real estate and also can be one of the most expensive issues to fix, especially if not addressed immediately. Ensuring that your roof is in good condition is one of the most important steps to successfully winterize your home.
Clean Your Gutters
Before the winter hits, it’s important to clean your gutters. Clogged gutters are one of the most common culprits of water damage in a home. To properly winterize your home, it’s important to make sure your gutters are clear of leaves and debris from trees, such as small sticks. Depending on how many trees are in the vicinity of your home, it’s possible you may need to clean your gutters more than the recommended once a year.
One of the best methods to clean your gutters is to use a small plastic shovel to scoop the leaves and debris out of the gutters. Once you’ve cleaned the majority of leaves and debris from your gutters, use a garden hose to flush out any remaining leaves and debris. Be sure that the water your using to flush any remaining leaves and debris is draining properly.
If you decide that you don’t want to clean your own gutters, there should be several companies in your local area that perform gutter cleaning. The cost to clean your homes gutters generally will range between $75-$200, depending on the amount of gutters your home has and the height of your roof line.
Winterize Your Central Air Conditioner
If your home is equipped with a central air conditioning unit, it’s important you properly winterize it. Central air conditioning is a great feature to have in a home but also can be fairly expensive to repair in the event it’s not properly winterized.
The first step to properly winterizing your central air conditioning is to make sure all debris is cleared away from the unit. This includes all sticks, leaves, and bushes.
Next it’s suggested that you cover the unit with a piece of wood that is large enough to cover the top of the unit. This is to help eliminate the chance that debris, leaves, or even worse, icicles fall inside the unit which can create damage.
Finally, if your central air conditioning unit has an electric box next to it, you should ensure it is switched to the off position. Many people believe you should cover the entire unit, which is not necessary and actually is not suggested. Covering the entire unit can trap moisture inside which can lead to problems with the unit.
Once these three simple steps are completed, you’ve successfully winterized your central air conditioning unit.
We will continue with additional tips in our next Winter Tips Blog....