Winter is the time of year when it’s the most likely something horrible can happen to your home. There are just so many different things from heavy snow, to bitter cold, to dangerously high winds that can damage your home. The best way to make sure you and your house make it through the upcoming winter is to prep your home before the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Winter Proof Your Water Supply
The biggest challenge many people have is making sure their water pipes don’t freeze. Go through your house and make sure all pipes are still properly insulated. Build insulated covers for any pipes leading outside your home. If you have pipes that are prone to freezing, wrap a heating tape around those places.
You should have a few containers of water on hand in case there’s a power outage. Don’t assume that because it’s the winter time that you’ll be able to collect and melt snow. It takes an enormous amount of snow to equal a single gallon of water and a great deal of energy to melt it.
Get a Back Up Source of Power
The odds of the power going out during the winter are high. There are so many different ways the power lines can be taken down, and it often takes the power company a long time to rectify the situation. The danger of not having power during the winter is not being able to heat your home. The best way to prevent yourself from freezing during a wintertime power outage is having an alternative source of energy in place before disaster strikes. Some people use a generator while others turn to solar energy to back up their electrical power.
Secure a Reliable Heat Source
No matter what type of furnace you use to heat your home, you don’t want to wait until the temperatures drop below freezing to find out whether or not it’s still working. A few weeks before the weather is expected to turn, you should turn your heater on. If you see even the slightest sign of trouble, contact someone about getting it repaired right away.
It’s not a bad idea to consider alternative sources of heat for your home too. Not only are these more reliable than electrical heat, but in the long run they’re also more affordable. Good choices include wood heat, solar powered heaters, and geothermal heat. With any of these three heat sources, you’ll still be able to generate heat during power outages, though you will need to come up with a way to circulate the warm air throughout your home.
Believe it or not, one of the biggest problems many home owners deal with during the winter is flooding. The faster the weather warms up and the faster the snow melts, the greater the chances of flooding. Planning is the key to getting through flooding with minimal damage. Your first priority is minimizing the amount of water that enters your house. Pushing mounds of dirt against your home’s foundation, creating shallow trenches to direct water to draw water away from buildings, and making sure your rain gutters are in good shape does wonders to keep your basement from flooding.
In the event your basement does flood, you need to remove the water as swiftly as possible. This requires the use of a sump pump. Many home owners set up a permanent sump pump in their basement so that it kicks on and starts pumping water as soon as the basement starts to flood.
If you live in a coastal area or near a lake or river, there’s a chance your home could flood despite your best efforts. In this case you need to have a sound evacuation plan in place. Make sure that everyone knows what the plan is. Don’t forget to include your pets in your evacuation.
Coping with Leaks
The one thing that catches people off guard during the winter is a leaking roof. If your roof develops a leak, covering the area with a tarp is the quickest temporary fix. If you have time, try a layered approach which involves placing plastic tarps directly over the leak, covering the plastic with a canvas tarp, and securely fastening the edges down. The tarps are a temporary fix. You’ll need to have a roofing expert repair the damage as quickly as possible.
What steps do you intend to take to get your home ready for the upcoming winter?