The days are getting shorter and colder, so if you haven’t already, it is time to start thinking about preparing your home for winter. The amount of winterizing necessary will vary depending on the type of home (stick built or manufactured), the home’s usage (seasonal or year-round), and your heating system (HVAC or wood stove). Below are a few short tips to get you started on your process of winterizing your space this fall.
Debris, like leaves or pine needles, can create blockages and limit the flow of water through the gutter, leading to ice dams that can cause water to spill over the edge of the gutter, damage it, or even cause damage to the roof/siding of your home.
If you have an open foundation, common with manufactured and mobile homes, it is important to install or repair the skirting around your home. Skirting provides a multitude of benefits including: keeping animals out, protecting your plumbing/wiring, and lowering your heating costs. In addition, if the proper materials are used, these barriers can help prevent moisture build ups, potentially stopping mold growth under your home. Skirting materials vary widely from simple lattice to concrete/stucco barriers, so it’s best to contact your manufacturer to find out which material is best suited to your home and your location.
Frozen pipes in winter can wreak havoc on a home and can even cause serious damage. In addition to blocking water flow to the house, frozen water can expand enough to break pipes, causing major leaks. Remove hoses from all outside spigots and consider covering exposed taps and pipes with some form of insulation for an added layer of protection.
Windows and Doors
Drafts can not only bring a chill, they can lead to higher heating costs throughout the home.
Check the seals on all your windows and doors to see if any need to be replaced. Some windows will only require a new line of caulking to correct a draft, whereas doors may need a new rubber seal if the old one is worn.
Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, “home heating is the second leading cause of home fires.” As we begin heating our homes, it is important to ensure that all smoke detectors are functioning properly so that you will be alerted should any problems arise.
For more information on home fire safety, visit the U.S. Fire Administration at: DPGazette.com/femaheat
Or the Red Cross at: DPGazette.com/redcrossfire
As fall transitions into winter and the temperatures begin to creep even lower, it is important to be sure that your indoor pipes are protected. Protecting indoor pipes is important in all homes, but it is especially important in seasonal homes or homes that are not kept at a consistent temperature. In addition to wrapping exposed piping with insulation, you can help by making sure that heat gets to the pipes. For example, you can protect under sink pipes by opening the cabinet doors to make sure that heat from the room gets to the pipes. Checking over your home now and completing any repairs on your to do list can help keep you warm through the winter. These extra steps can also help to ensure that you don’t end up with major repairs in the thick of winter.