The cold temperatures and harsh weather of winter can cause a lot of general wear and tear to your property in Lee’s Summit, MO. If you don’t properly prepare your home for winter every year, the chances of winter-related damage will generally increase. Not to mention a lack of preparation can negatively affect your home’s comfort and energy costs. With this in mind, we’ve put together a home winterizing checklist of things you should do to prepare your home for winter and to help avoid any issues.
1. Have Your Gutters Cleaned Out
Make sure you clean your gutters before winter hits. Any debris which has collected in your gutters should be removed before it freezes. If the debris isn’t removed, it can cause all kinds of problems. For instance, frozen wet leaves add more weight and strain your gutter system, causing it to pull away from your roof. Not to mention debris can clog your gutters, which blocks melted snow from draining. Instead, the water will re-freeze in your gutters, potentially causing them to crack. Cluttered gutters can also result in ice damming.
2. Make Sure Your Heating System is Working Properly
The odds are you haven’t made much use of your heating system for quite some time. As such, you should inspect it before you begin to depend heavily on it to keep you warm through winter. The last thing you want is for your heating system to break down when you need it most. The first thing you should do is simply test it to see if it’s working properly. Turn it on and set it to 80. If it doesn’t begin blowing warm air within a few minutes, it may require a professional inspection. Additionally, replace the old filter with a new one to ensure your unit will run efficiently. You should also inspect and clean your heating vents. Finally, even if there’s nothing wrong with your heating system, it doesn’t hurt to have it inspected. A professional can identify problems and potential issues you may not have noticed, thereby preventing them from growing worse.
3. Insulate Exposed Water Pipes
While much of your home’s plumbing might be located behind your walls and under your floors, there’s a good chance some of your pipes are exposed, especially in areas like your basement or attic. If you have exposed pipes, they should be insulated using foam insulating sleeves. If you don’t insulate them, any water remaining inside the pipes could freeze should temperatures drop low enough. As a result, exposed pipes could experience cracks, leading to leaks or even potential flooding.
4. Assess Your Home’s Insulation
Your exposed pipes are not the only thing requiring insulation. Make sure your attic is properly insulated so warm air doesn’t escape through your roof. You should also insulate your hot water heater, your exterior outlets and switch plates, and your fireplace if you don’t plan on using it. Without proper insulation, heat will escape through your home and cold air will be let in.
5. Seal Your Windows and Doors
To keep your home as comfortable as possible, seal your windows and doors using caulking and weatherstripping. Doing so will prevent cold drafts and will keep warm air trapped inside. Air leaks not only contribute to a less comfortable home, but they can also cause your heating costs to rise significantly. If warm air is constantly leaving your home, your heating system will have to expend more energy to replace lost heat.
6. Clean Your Air Conditioning Unit And Cover It Up
You won’t be using your A/C during the winter, but don’t just ignore it. Before it gets too cold, clean any debris from your exterior condensing unit using a hose. Once it’s dried off, cover the unit to ensure it isn’t damaged during the winter. If you don’t cover it up, wet debris may collect in and around your unit, which can then freeze and cause damage to the unit’s components.
7. Schedule a Roof Inspection
You want to know your roof is in good condition before winter hits. Issues with your roof will only grow worse during the harsh weather of winter. For example, missing shingles or damaged flashing can result in serious leaks, especially if the snow has gathered on your roof begins melting during warmer days. You should have any roof problems addressed before the weather takes a turn for the worse.
Preparing your home for winter is crucial to ensuring you reduce the risk of weather-related damage, expenses, and discomfort. Begin preparing your home for winter by having your roof inspected today. If your roof is in need of repair or replacement, then be sure to contact us at Bill West Roofing. With over four decades of roofing experience, we have fostered a reputation as one of the most trustworthy and reliable roofers in Lee’s Summit, MO.