Every winter, thousands of Americans lose power for days and sometimes weeks. If you’re prepared for the worst, you won’t have to worry about the cold, dark and noisy nights. Here are some tips to prepare your home for winter weather:
1. Winterize your pipes
If your home uses a well, spring is a great time to check its water level. If it’s low and you have room in your budget, consider adding or updating a pump system.
2. Inspect the roof
If you’ll be away over the holidays or if you know heavy snow is coming, hire someone to check for ice dams, which form when melting snow backs up and forms a ridge on your roof. This can cause leaks that cause damage to your home and threaten utility lines.
3. Ensure there’s plenty of dry firewood
You may not use it right away, but make sure you have plenty of firewood on hand if the power goes out. And don’t place any flammable objects near it to avoid accidental fires once it’s lit.
4. Clear walkways and steps of snow. It’s important to keep paths clear so that you can easily walk from one part of your property to another — and so that firefighters and other first responders can access your home if needed. Don’t forget about steps leading up to your front door; some people have reported accidents when they tried coming down the steps without boots on due to the ice buildup.
5. Reduce drafts from windows and doors around your house by weather stripping or caulking. You can also add insulation in attics and crawl spaces.
6. Check your water heater. If there is any rust or corrosion on the tank, it could mean a substantial loss of heat energy. Replace elements with an energy-efficient model as soon as possible.