It’s Time To Winterize!
It’s Time To Winterize!
There are maintenance that you should be doing to your home regularly. These items keep your home up to date, and running smoothly. But when the weather starts dropping, it’s time to winterize! A few of these maintenance items include:
-Repairing caulking around faucets and showers.
-Checking to see if tree branches have grown out over power lines.
-Tightening handles, knobs, racks, etc.
You can check out the complete list of maintenance items here.
Did You Know?
You should be preparing your home for the winter months if you live somewhere that has a colder climate. The best time to winterize your home, is BEFORE the temperate drops below freezing. Living in a state like Michigan we all know how harsh our winters can get. It is important to start the process of winterizing your home before the weather gets too cold, and the pipes start freezing. Some simple items that you should do to winterize your home are:
-Clean any debris from roof and gutters, make sure downspouts are clear. Trim tree branches around the house.
-Make sure all exterior lighting is functioning properly and replace bulbs if needed.
-Drain and turn off outdoor faucets and irrigation systems. If your outdoor faucet isn’t freeze-proof, cover with Styrofoam faucet cover, or have a professional plumber winterize. Irrigation lines must have lines blown out to remove all water.
-Outdoor showers should be drained and the control valve removed, to remove any remaining water.
You can see the full Winterization Checklist here. You can even download it, and print it out for accessibility!
Back To The Basics.
Some things to consider when starting to prepare for the colder weather months are lawn and home maintenance tips as well. These items include:
-Mowing your yard one last time.
-Raking your yard to prepare for snow fall.
-Bringing outside furniture in the garage/shed.
-Cutting down perennials.
-Adding dormant fertilizer to your yard.
Doing these items can help ensure your yard will be ready for snow fall and freezing temperatures.
How To Make Your Home Energy & Cost Efficient For The Winter:
Colder weather, means higher electric, and gas bills. But, there are some helpful ways that you can make your home energy and cost efficient. On DTE’s website, you can actually schedule a FREE Energy Consultation. This will allow a member of their team to come to your home and tell you what the worrisome areas of your home might be, and how you can conserve cost and energy.
You can weatherize your home by sealing air leaks and adding insulation to your attic, or exterior walls. They sometimes will sell kits at your local hardware store for sealing off windows to stop drafts. Consider installing a smart thermostat in your home to help reduce your energy bill. With a smart thermostat, you are able to adjust the temperature of your home from your smart device. This will allow for you to lower the temperature when you aren’t home to save money, and you can adjust it from your smart device on your way home to help it warm up before you get there.
Using simple door draft stopper, will help you block drafts coming in from around your door. They offer cloths ones that are decorative to match the style of your room. The silicone ones adhere with double sided tape that you can use for the sides of the doors as well.
Ice Dams form around the eaves of roofs when snow melts at the top of the roof faster than around the bottom. This causes the freshly melted snow, now water to get trapped at the bottom eve of the roof and refreezes. This process keeps repeating itself until an ice dam forms. The key to preventing ice dams is to make sure your attic is properly insulated and ventilated. In cases where insulation and ventilation are unable to be properly installed you can install heating cable around the eve to keep ice dams at bay.
When melting occurs around you home it can lead to excess ground water coming into your crawlspace or basement typically through what is called hydro static pressure. To help ensure this doesn’t happen to your home there are a few steps you can take.
Preventing Ice Dams:
-Always make sure the grading of your home slopes away from the structure. This includes the ground, cement, patios, decks, and porches.
-Make sure your gutters and downspouts are properly functioning. Gutters should slope towards the downspouts. Downspouts should be extended 6 feet away from your foundation. The entire gutter system should be kept clean and free flowing.
-Test your sump pump regularly to ensure it is working. It is also important to make sure the sump pump discharge line is located far enough away from your home to make sure the water won’t just re-enter. Lastly, it is a worth installing a backup system on your sump pump. These come in a variety of types such as a water backup systems or a battery backup system.
Getting Rid Of The Dams:
-You can use a blunt mallet to remove ice dams that have already built up. It is import to not use a sharp tool while removing the dams, as it can damage the gutters and shingles. Remove the dams this way is dangerous, and tedious. If you are unsure what to do, your best bet is to hire someone who is experienced with roofing to do this job for you.
-You can fill an old pantyhose with calcium chloride to melt the ice dams. If you lay these across the dams, it will let them melt slowly, clearing the water to flow free. It is extremely important to not use rock salt when trying to melt the ice dams! Rock salt can damage metals, paint, and most plants or areas where the salt water drains.
These are just a few tips to help prevent water damage to your home during the winter months. Remember water is the number one destroyer of a home and a little preventative maintenance now can prevent major expenses later.
Michigan has some harsh winters, and it’s time to winterize your home before the temperatures drops to freezing. From raking the yard, to blowing out outside hoses, and installing smart thermostats to save money. Preparing your home and yard before the temperatures drop , will make sure you’re not out in the cold.