Winter is not only rough on us, it’s also very taxing on our homes. Here a few helpful tips to make winter easier on your house and prevent damage and resulting costs.
Protect your Entryway
The interior and exterior of your entryway sees a lot of traffic and takes quite the beating. To protect your floors (even tiled floors) from water and salt damage, put down large carpets that do not allow water to pass through. Set up boot trays that are easily accessible.
Ensure that the exterior area of your entryway is kept clear of snow and ice buildup. This will ensure that your wood deck, stone entry etc, will have a longer life span, and people navigating entryway stay safe.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
Cover any exposed pipes that run along exterior walls or are in unheated areas with pipe insulation to prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
Check the Roof
Check the roof for any damaged shingles or flashing that is not sealed properly. The snow and melting ice will cause extensive damage if your roof is already compromised, resulting in water leaks, interior damage and roof damage.
Keep your roof cleared of snow to prevent ice dams. Roof rakes and heating cables are great tools to alleviate labour and roof damage. If an ice dam does form, carefully remove snow and ice without damaging roof and gutters, do not let it build up.
Check for Drafts and Repair Leaks
Repair leaks in any drafty areas. Windows and doors may require caulking or new weather stripping, baseboards may require caulking, and electrical outlets may need insulation gaskets. These minor upgrades can save you a ton on your heating bill.
Check the weather stripping on your doors. Ensure that it creates a tight seal to prevent heat loss and ice build up.
Heating Tune Up
Perform a maintenance check on your furnace to ensure it is in working order. Now is also a great time to replace the air filter on your furnace. Have any wood furnaces/stoves checked and chimneys cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. Built-up creosote and soot can ignite and cause a fire.
Check heating ducts and clean out any large amounts of dust or animal hair.
To make sure heat distributes well in your house, reverse ceiling fans to force warm air downward.