Americans witnessed extreme conditions in the winter of 2022 when snowstorms dampened the holiday spirit. People were forced to coop indoors, and sudden outages worsened the crisis.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac leaves people worried this year, too, with the forecast of above-normal snowfall in many regions. Mid-to-late November to early to mid-January will likely be the snowiest time.
The Northeastern states may be the worst hit, but homeowners everywhere should brace for the rigors of winter. After the icy blast of 2022 affecting more than 250 Americans and Canadians, you cannot think of overlooking the risk. If you live in a snowy area, you should go the extra mile with winter-proofing your property inside out.
Here are the areas to pay extra attention to while preparing your home for the season ahead.
Your home’s roof is your first line of defense against the elements. A pre-winter inspection is a must to identify any signs of damage and address them before the snow arrives.
Avoid a DIY approach and let experts handle the maintenance project. The last thing you want to deal with is water damage due to leaks in cracks during snowmelt.
Also, ensure proper sealing of the flashing around chimneys and vents. Cleaning gutters and downspouts to remove debris, leaves, and twigs is the next step.
Although a cleanup job sounds less complicated than roof repair, it is equally critical. Clogged gutters can cause ice dams and water backup, leading to potential roof damage.
Besides ensuring roof integrity, you should have a snow removal plan if your area is prone to heavy snowfall. Heavy weight of snow may cause structural damage, making immediate snow removal necessary.
Winter temperatures in many parts of the US dropped 15 to 30 degrees below average during the massive blizzard that hit during Christmas last year.
Even if the rare event doesn’t repeat this year, the sub-zero temperatures will likely prevail during the snowy season. Keeping your heating system in top shape should be on your winter checklist.
The rule applies to homeowners across the country. Consider the example of East Peoria in Illinois, which averages nearly 23 inches of snow per year (5 inches less than the national average). Despite being less snowy, the area experiences temperatures well below freezing during the winter months.
Residents should seek East Peoria HVAC services for professional inspection and maintenance of their heating systems. Regular servicing keeps the system running efficiently, ensuring a cozy living space regardless of the outdoor temperature.
According to AirAce Heating & Cooling, energy efficiency is another reason to be vigilant about the condition of your HVAC system. Not keeping it well-maintained can lead to hefty energy bills and increase your carbon footprint.
Insulation and Seals
Winter drafts can make your living space uncomfortable and drive up your power bills. Although the problem sounds insignificant, it deserves your attention. Adequate attic insulation is vital for heat retention and energy savings. If your home insulation falls short, consider adding more before the snowy season sets in.
Inspect the seals around doors and windows because gaps and cracks can affect the indoor temperatures. Replacing deteriorating weatherstripping and sealing the gaps with caulk can prevent drafts and maintain warmth inside your living space.
Pipes and Plumbing
Winter plumbing issues are a far bigger problem than you imagine. Texas homeowners encountered a plumbing damage crisis in the 2021 winter.
A storm spread through the state, leaving plumbers swamped with repair requests. Insulating exposed pipes in unheated areas like attics, basements, and garages can prevent damage during extreme cold spells.
Check the outdoor faucets and sprinklers because they are at risk of freezing during the snowy weather. Drain faucets, disconnect garden hoses, and winterize the underground sprinkler system to safeguard them from damage.
Preparing your home for the snowy season is also about ensuring outdoor maintenance. Your home’s exterior bears the brunt of rain and snow, making it susceptible to damage.
Start by inspecting the foundation and siding to check for signs of wear, such as cracks and gaps. A concrete and asphalt contractor can address them with repair or replacement as necessary.
Milliken Corporation emphasizes the importance of timely repair because water infiltration in cracks and gaps can cause structural damage. Prompt repairs can save you from hefty replacement costs and keep your landscaping snow-proof during winter.
Besides covering the basics, trim overhanging branches near your home, driveways, and power lines. Heavy snow can cause them to break and fall, leading to a significant hazard. When the snow arrives, keep the pathways, sidewalks, and driveways clean to ensure safety.
Proactive measures and attention to detail are essential to prepare your home for the snowy season. Follow these steps on time to have a hassle-free season ahead.
The best piece of advice is to get professional inspection and maintenance well before the snowy season because last-minute fixes are often painful. You may even struggle to book services when professionals are packed with work or off for holidays.