As a home or property owner, the start of autumn signals not only the beginning of colder weather, but also the last time of the year to carry out any much-needed outdoor repairs, touch-ups or other preparations before winter.
Under the worst of conditions, unfinished home improvement items on a fall to-do list could result in emergency measures that must be taken in the midst of below-freezing temperatures and snowy conditions.
Whether they are for safety or cost-efficiency, here are four ways to prepare your home for the winter:
Protect the roof!
Perhaps the biggest insurance risk that a homeowner must consider during the winter months is his or her roof's limits as to how much snow and water it can handle before collapse. Therefore, any type of roof repairs are recommended - from replacing broken shingles to plugging any leaks.
Another important task includes cutting away trees or tree limbs at risk of falling in close proximity of the roof. Homeowners should also fix downspouts and clean gutters of any leaves and other debris near the end of autumn to prevent clogging, resulting water pooling and collapse or ice dams, Forbes recommended.
Ensure winter safety in and around the home
With regard to fire safety, fireplaces and wood stoves in homes need to be cleaned ahead of the cold weather if they are regularly or even periodically used throughout the year to prevent fires, according to Allstate Insurance. Similarly, gas or oil-based heating systems in homes should undergo inspections and repairs before they are turned on for the season.
Around their homes, owners should take care to cut any tree limbs and rake fallen leaves away from pathways and driveways frequented by residents and/or their vehicles so they do not slip and fall under slippery conditions. Financing and time permitting, repairs to any fences, stone walls or similar structures can also be made so they do not collapse..
Maximize heating and energy efficiency
While home heating systems must be checked after long periods of inactivity for safety, a smart homeowner can also determine their home heating cost efficiency by conducting a test run prior to running constantly for the season.
One of the most common ways to ensure a home is properly insulated is to seal its windows, doors and other places that heat can escape - this includes finishing any painting or siding work on the house to inhibit rotting and exposure. Windows older than 15 years should typically be replaced, according to Dumpsters.com.
To save money, homeowners can get creative with they ways in which they keep their homes warm - for example, running ceiling fans in reverse can blow hot air down, according to Allstate.
There are some important reminders homeowners might need to avoid flooding in or around the house: for example, after watering season is over outdoor faucets should have their valves shut off ahead of the frigid temperatures so they do not freeze and burst.
Sump pumps located in uninsulated basements should be tested to see if they drain properly so they do not break during the winter and result in frozen discharge lines and flooding, according to Cranney Home Services.
No matter how you plan to prepare your home for colder weather, remember that Aqua Finance is there to lend a hand. To learn more, contact us today.