Cold weather can be a nightmare for homeowners, especially as cold weather extremes become more common. It can wreak havoc on your roof and windows. It can cause flooding in the basement, leading to a domino effect of destruction. It can even shut down your heating system, putting you, your family and your home’s other important systems in peril. Today, we’ll show you some ways to protect your home from winter damage.
1. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
When heating systems fail due to cold weather, you may not know it until it hurts or kills you. According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment failures are a leading cause of household fires, and fire-related deaths and injuries. Furnaces and heaters can also produce deadly carbon monoxide, which is odorless, colorless and tasteless.
This is why it’s so important to check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as the weather gets colder. Make sure you’ve installed them properly and know how to test them by referring to the manufacturer’s manual. Assure that the batteries are fresh, and when in doubt, replace them. Knowing that you have properly functioning smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is a simple and effective home maintenance tip for the winter.
2. Get your furnace serviced
Getting your furnace professionally cleaned and serviced helps ensure everything runs properly and at peak efficiency before it gets consistently cold. This home maintenance tip for the winter may seem like an unnecessary hassle if you’ve never had any problems before. But having a furnace breakdown in the middle of winter is more than just a hassle, especially if you don’t have a strong home warranty: It’s a danger to you, your family and your home’s other essential systems, none more obvious than your piping.
3. Insulate pipes in unheated areas
Pipes can get cold, freeze and burst, which leads to flooding and expensive (sometimes unaffordable) repairs. If you have pipes in an unheated part of your home, such as the basement, make sure you get them insulated properly. Flooding caused by burst basement pipes can cause warping, mold, mildew and even foundation damage. You should also disconnect any outside garden hoses and turn off the water to the spigot. If possible, cover outdoor faucets with freeze caps.
4. Test your sump pump
A sometimes-overlooked home maintenance tip for the winter is testing your sump pump. A working sump pump can keep your basement from flooding during heavy rain or snow. To test it, pour a few gallons of water into the sump pit to make sure the pump turns on. If it doesn’t kick on, it’s time to replace it.
5. Flush your hot water tank
Hot water tanks accumulate mineral sediment buildup over time. This can cause damage and shorten the tank’s life span, which can cost thousands of dollars to replace. So, you should drain it once a year.
6. Inspect your roof
As the weather cools, look for cracked or missing shingles. If leaves, branches or grit have accumulated in the gutters, clean them out. Clogged gutters can cause water to flow behind your house’s siding, causing expensive and invasive water damage.
7. Protect your air conditioner
Falling ice, branches and other debris can damage your outdoor A/C unit. Waterproof A/C covers can help, but make sure no small animals take shelter inside the unit under the cover. Consider weighing your cover down or placing a large piece of plywood on top of the unit to protect it from the elements.
8. Prepare for the worst
With weather extremes becoming more common, it’s smart to prepare for the worst. Always have blankets, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlights and first-aid supplies ready. Installing a generator could save your life.
9. Get comprehensive coverage for major systems and appliances
Even with all this preparation, major systems and appliances can still break down, which can be expensive and inconvenient. Having a comprehensive home warranty from 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty (2-10 HBW) makes protecting your home simple and economical. Our home warranties protect you, your family, your house and your budget from insurmountable agony for a fraction of the cost to repair or replace problems yourself.
To keep your winters comfy, cozy and comprehensibly covered from the unexpected, consider a home warranty through 2-10 HBW today, because the unexpected is expensive.
2-10 HBW offers the most comprehensive home warranty coverage for homeowners. Let us help you protect your home.