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8 Ways to Prepare Your Home for an Essex County Winter

by | Nov 20, 2023 | General, Restoration

Supreme Services knows how much damage the Windsor winter season can cause to your home!

So we have 8 Ways to Prepare Your Home for an Essex County Winter

1. Get your furnace serviced. Investing in an annual service for your home heating system will save you in the long run – at minimum we highly recommend changing your furnace filters at least twice per year.  This is an easy DIY project!

2. Inspect your roof!– Conduct a thorough roof inspection by checking for damaged, loose, or missing shingles that may lead to leaks during winter storms or melting snow. Don’t overlook cracked or worn rubber around vent pipes, and be vigilant for masses of moss and lichen, potential indicators of underlying roof decay. 

3. Caulk your windows and doors- Seal windows and doors with caulk to prevent unwanted moisture and air leaks. If you observe drafts or a sudden spike in energy bills, it may be time to replace the caulk around your windows and doors, typically recommended every five to 10 years.  This is a medium difficulty DIY project!

4. Clean the gutters- Regularly clean your gutters, ideally twice a year (spring and fall). For those with pine trees nearby, consider cleaning every three months to prevent needle buildup that could lead to clogs. Neglecting gutter maintenance may result in costly repairs, as backed-up water can damage roofing, siding, wood trim, and cause leaks and ice dams. Additionally, clogged gutters may become habitats for rodents and pests. Regular upkeep will extend the life of your gutters.  Caution – always have a second person holding the ladder and get an expert for those 2nd stories!

5. Divert water from your home.- Redirecting water is crucial to prevent various issues for homeowners, ranging from minor inconveniences to significant damages running into the thousands of dollars. Accumulated water can lead to problems such as mold growth, landscape damage, basement leaks, and foundation issues. A practical measure to mitigate these risks is extending your downspouts.

By adding extensions to downspouts, ensure that water is diverted a minimum of 4 to 6 feet away from the foundation. For homes with basement walls, this distance should be extended to at least 6 feet. The farther the water is redirected from the foundation, the better. To prevent erosion, consider placing gravel or rocks at the end of the downspout. This proactive step can help safeguard your property from the potential hazards associated with pooling water.

6. Turn off exterior faucets-Ensure the winterization of exterior faucets to prevent pipe bursts and potential flooding, safeguarding your home from water damage. Undrained water in pipes can freeze, causing pipes to burst as the ice expands. Follow these steps for winterizing outdoor faucets:

  • Disconnect hoses: Remove all garden hoses and any splitters attached to your faucets. Drain any remaining water from the faucets.
  • Locate shut-off valves: Find the shut-off valves for outdoor faucets inside your home, typically on the basement wall corresponding to the outdoor faucet.
  • Drain the faucet: Completely drain your outdoor faucet. Allow any excess water to trickle out, and if water continues to flow, tighten the interior shut-off valve. Once drained, keep the handle in the “on” position when closing up for the winter.
  • Insulate the faucet: Purchase an outdoor faucet cover from a local home improvement store for a few dollars. Use this cover to insulate the faucet, providing an extra layer of protection against freezing temperatures.

By following these steps, you can effectively turn off exterior faucets and take essential measures to prevent winter-related pipe damage and potential water-related issues in your home.

7. Drain your sprinkler system-Winterizing your sprinkler system is a crucial step in getting your home ready for cold weather. Depending on your property’s slope, you can choose between manual or automatic draining, or opt for a sprinkler system blowout to save money. If your land has enough slope to facilitate complete drainage in a manual or automatic drain irrigation system, you might be able to carry out winterization without any additional cost. This process is essential to protect your sprinkler system from potential damage caused by freezing temperatures during the winter months.  This is a medium DIY project that can be learned easily from many Youtube channels.  If you are still unsure – call a professional to limit the possibility of frozen underground water lines!