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For many, winter means snow tires, heavy coats, and shoveling the driveway. It’s also a time when certain preparatory tasks must be done to ensure your home survives the harsh winter weather. Here, The Summer Pools presents a few things you can do to keep your home in tip-top shape.
Work Your Way From the Outside In
It's easy to focus on the inside of your house during the colder months, but maintaining the exterior of your house is just as important. One of the first things you should do before the temperature drops is cut back the limbs and branches on the trees around your house.
Pay special attention to branches that appear weak or dying because high winds and freezing temperatures can cause limbs to break off and cause severe damage.
While you're outside, give your gutters a thorough checkup. Clear out leaves in the gutters and repair or replace any broken portions. Proper drainage allows the water from your roof to drain properly and can prevent roof or other structural damage.
Another outside concern is the roof. Family Handyman recommends checking for frayed or missing shingles and damaged flashing. A compromised roof can lead to big-time damage come wintertime, as the cycle of freezing and thawing can destroy the smallest of crevices, not to mention leaks that develop, or worse yet, a roof collapse after a snow or ice storm.
Any repairs made should be seen as an investment, not just in damage control but also if you plan to sell your property in the near future when your home is listed. A roof built to last can boost your home’s appraisal value.
Schedule Preventative Maintenance
Early fall is a great time to have your home heating systems checked. The last thing you want to do is discover that there is an issue when you go to turn on the heat for the first time.
This is also an excellent time to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and ensure you have functioning fire extinguishers. Many factors make your house vulnerable to fire during winter, including increased heating usage, Christmas decorations, and holiday baking.
If you aren’t sure where to start looking for professionals to help you winterize your home, consider subscribing to a homeowner’s maintenance app. Using the Frontdoor app to help you manage your home is a great way to stay on top of your maintenance (it provides reminders) and find trustworthy professionals to take care of your tasks.
Don't Forget Your Pipes
As the weather gets colder, the chances for frozen pipes increase. If temperatures are expected to get below 20 F, make sure to winterize pipes inside and outside your house. Taking the time to protect your pipes now can prevent you from waking up to a flooded house later.
Prepare Your Pool for Winter
Prepare your pool for the colder months ahead by winterizing your pool correctly. One critical step is to clean the pool thoroughly, removing any accumulated debris or leaves.
You'll also want to adjust the pH and alkalinity levels to ensure proper chemical balance. Finally, consider covering your pool with a winter cover to protect it from the harsh winter weather.
Winterize Your Basement
If you spend much time in your basement in winter, consider insulating it. Not only will this keep you warmer, but it can protect pipes and your heating system.
Often, when homeowners choose to insulate their basements, they realize the benefits of refinishing them all together, which can be a great way to add extra space to your home and increase your appraisal value down the road.
Should you decide to explore a basement remodel, you’ll need to budget for all the particulars, so meeting with at least three contractors and getting multiple quotes is wise.
Prepare for an Emergency
The cold weather can bring severe storms that can cause utility outages and make it difficult to get out of the house. This is why House Method suggests having a winter emergency kit.
Your kit should include enough food and water to last between three and five days for each family member. It's also a good idea to have extra blankets, gloves, and hot packs to keep you warm during a power outage.
While updating or creating your home emergency kit, assembling a small kit for your car is also a good idea.
Take Time to Prepare for a Safer Winter
Winter can be a time for fun and festivities, but it also requires extra planning. While it may seem like a lot of work now, taking the steps to make sure you are prepared for the colder weather can save you stress and money down the road.