Brace Yourself! —Three Things to Do Right Now to Protect Your Home from Winter Weather

Did you spend the warmer days for spring, summer, and fall sitting around with your thumb up your butt watching HGTV when you should have been winterizing your home?!? That seems like something you would do. Well, lucky for you dummies, even though it’s colder than the New York Giants’ offense outside, it’s not too late to prep your home for winter. Here are three essential steps (have I mentioned you should have done this crap a long time ago!) you can take to make sure that you and yours ride out rest of winter in a safe, warm, and comfortable home.

Batten Down The Hatches!

As a homeowner, your #1 concern should be how to keep warm as the weather outside drops to below freezing temperatures. Basic thermodynamic principles (look it up, you moron!) teach us that if there is a way for heat to escape, it will escape. Simply put, you need to make sure that every nook and cranny of your home is sealed and shut properly, so you can keep warm and cozy inside, while snow is falling outside.

There are several actions you can take to prepare your home to keep the heat, such as inspecting your attic and basement. Typically, warm air escapes as it moves upwards through your house; as the ground cools, outside cold air begins to seep into the basement or crawlspace of the home. This “Stack Effect” makes the lowest and highest points in our homes the most vulnerable for leaking warm air.

Reinforcing these vulnerable spaces with extra insulation, as well as sealing any cracks or gaps in the walls, windows, and doors will keep your house nice and warm—Not to mention save you plenty of green on your heating bills this winter.

Check Your Pipes!

As temperatures outside plummet, another important consideration is the condition of your pipes. Inspect all of the exposed water pipes along the exterior of your home for any damage or corrosion. For indoor water pipes, properly insulating your home’s interior should help protect your pipes from freezing.

Water expands when it freezes, which can cause the pipes to rupture. Having a busted pipe in winter can lead to massive damage to your home and potentially cost thousands. Go through the checklist now to make sure your pipes can withstand the cold. If you do have any exposed exterior pipes, you should take the steps to insulate the pipes themselves so that the water keeps flowing into your house.

Don’t Forget Fire Safety!

Fire safety might not be your immediate reaction when considering your winter prep, but according to National Fire Protection Agency, winter is the most dangerous season when it comes to house fires. If your local news is like ours, you’ve probably seen an uptick in the number news reports on house fires since the cold settled in. Now is a great time to take the necessary steps to keep your home and your family safe.
The first and easiest step you can take is to check that all smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly functioning. Next, check your home’s air filters. Old, dirty filters are an often-overlooked potential fire hazard in your home, especially as you begin to circulate warmer and warmer air through your ventilation system.

As winter rolls around, you might break out a space heater or electric blanket to keep warm. Adding more electric output to your sockets always creates a potential risk of electrical fire. Go through your home’s outlets and make sure you are evenly outputting your electricity, and quickly go over electrical cords to check for damage before plugging in a space heater or electric blanket.

Of course, this doesn’t cover it all. There are plenty of other winterization tasks to tackle, but these will help you get caught up and prevent damage while you learn more about winter prep.
So, get to work, and next year, don’t wait so long to winterize, you fool!