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Winter can be a rough time of the year for many people. It can be inconvenient when you have to commute in the snow, but also expensive to heat the house and deal with any water damage.
Burst pipes, drafty windows letting the heat out and roofs that can’t handle the snow are part of the deal in many parts of North America. This means that it is never too early to get the house ready for winter to avoid these problems.
In this article, we will go over several ways to keep your house protected this winter.
1. Seal the House
There are a lot of pests that will want to come in and stay warm during the winter months. In older homes, there are generally plenty of cracks for them to get into the house.
It is a good idea to seal off any possible entry points for pests. This is actually advice that works year-round because even in the summer months you can end up with animals and insects getting in.
Even snakes can get in so find out how to get rid of snakes and then seal the house up to prevent anything else from getting in.
2. Protect Your Pipes
Some of the most expensive and extensive damage during winter occurs because of frozen pipes. The water in them freezes, then breaks the pipe. Once the water thaws, the pipes leak water everywhere.
It pays off to take the time in the warm months to properly insulate the pipes or the wall around where the pipes are.
Exposed pipes in areas that get hot should be covered in insulated sheathing to keep them from freezing.
3. Have the Chimney Cleaned
A very common source of fires that occur in the winter is a dirty chimney. The soot accumulates in it and then becomes combustible.
It is very important to keep the chimney clean when you have a fireplace. Before you light your first fire, have a chimney sweep come and give it a thorough cleaning.
The same goes for furnace vents that may be getting too hot, or not have the proper seal around where it attaches to the roof. These cause flashpoints which make a fire very likely.
4. Inspect Your Gutters
Gutters that don’t allow water to flow away from the roof will freeze up in frigid temperatures. This then allows runoff to get into the walls of the house and cause a lot of damage.
Make sure that the gutters are cleaned of any debris. In the fall it is very common to have gutters clogged up from all the falling leaves.
While you are up there looking, keep an eye out for joints that are not properly sealed. The leaks will allow water to get into the walls and freeze there.