Protect Your Home From Winter Damage
We can agree, for the most part, that the wintertime is beautiful. As the seasons change, our world becomes blanketed in a snowy landscape covered in festive lights and other seasonal decor. Although it’s a gorgeous time of year, the winter cold, snow and ice are not only hard on us living beings, but also our homes. This is why it’s important to do your best to care for your property this winter, both indoors and outdoors. In this blog, we’ll cover some common sources of winter damage and how to prevent them this season.
You’re going to want to make certain that you keep your property well-maintained throughout the winter. Not only for the sake of your outdoor spaces, but also for the inside of your home. If any trees, shrubs or other greenery on your property have long or hanging branches close to the structure, they could become covered in ice and pose a hazard. If a stray gust of wind were to pick one up, it could easily damage a window or leave dents and scuff marks on your walls. Not to mention, it’s common for weaker branches to snap and break during the colder months, so look for anything that could be dangerous and make sure to trim them before too long.
Detach and store any hoses connected to your home, and make sure to turn them off for the season. Water left in the pipes could freeze and cause damage internally, even the non-freeze hose bibs have been known to freeze. Any damaged pipes can cause flooding and other problems beyond the pipes themselves. For this same reason, make sure that your eavestroughing, gutters and drainage systems are clear of snow, ice and other debris, otherwise, they could become blocked and create flooding during a storm or a big melt.
Keep your driveway and walkways well-salted or covered in sand, not only to prevent slipping and sliding, but also to prevent packed snow and ice from building up and creating a hazard in the longer term.
Before we’re too far into the winter months, you’re going to want to have your furnace, fireplace and other heating systems inspected. With the time you’ll be spending gathered indoors, these systems are going to come under heavy use. Make sure they’re working properly, as large-scale malfunctions could lead to heat loss or fire hazards in extreme circumstances.
Look around your home for any cracks or gaps in the caulking that surrounds your windows and doors. Any small breaks could be letting cold air in and making your heating system work much harder, racking up a hefty energy bill over time. Make sure your home is well-insulated — not only to keep the heat in, but also to prevent ice buildup on your roof. Allowing heat to rise through the attic can cause the snow on the roof surface to melt and re-freeze, potentially causing damage and small floods inside your attic or top floor.
Keep a keen eye out for any mould growth. Mould prefers growing in warm, dark and humid environments. To remove any mould you may find, consider purchasing a chemical mould remover, or try following an online guide to create one yourself with ingredients found around the home. Remember to wear protective clothing and face protection when dealing with any toxic substances, such as mould.
Lisa Fitzpatrick ABR, SRS
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