How to Best Prepare Your Home for the Cold of Winter
By Lizzie Weakley
Winter tends to be more challenging than any other season. A small amount of preparation goes a long way when you’re safeguarding a home. Here are a few steps to get prepared for the bitter coldness of the weather.
Seal the Foundation
Frozen cracks in your foundation are dangerous and cause more damage to your home. When cracks freeze, they widen. The effects are more destructive because the freezing occurs below the ground and cannot be detected easily. Some homeowners see cracks or bulges appear in their floors or walls. If you notice the signs of foundation problems, prepare your home by paying for a foundation repair.
The water inside of indoor or outdoor pipes may freeze when the temperatures dip too low. Frozen water clogs up the pipes, increasing the risks of bursting. Insulating the pipes ensures that you continue to use the pipes without having to turn them off and that the water retains its heat.
Inspect the Furnace or Heating System
Check the heating system that you use during the winter regardless of how frequently it’s used. Gas furnaces do not need to be checked as often as those that use wood. A wood furnace is messier and leaves behind more damages because fire is used. In addition, a central heating system needs to be maintained and repaired, if necessary. Regardless of how well the heater runs, have it inspected by a professional before each winter.
Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Using a furnace, whether it’s powered by gas or wood, is hazardous because leakage may occur. An electrical appliance could spark and start a fire. Using a furnace for hours at a time increases the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning. Some people leave their heaters on all day and overnight. Others place them near curtains and other flammable materials without any regard.
Although smoke has an odor and visibility, carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, and invisible, making it a silent killer to everyone if the heater malfunctions. Maintain the detector in case of a heating problem.
Everyone turns on and off the heater without thinking of its maintenance needs. They don’t consider the fact that heaters and carbon monoxide detectors break down over time. Before the arrival of winter, maintain the systems that make your living warm and comfortable. Protect your fixtures from freezing and prevent further cold-related damages to your house.
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*Photos courtesy of Lizzie Weakley