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Brace for Winter: Quick Tips for Winterizing Your Home
They say winter is a season for recovery and preparation. A time of decorations, the joy of holidays, family, snow days, and cozy nights by the fireplace. You want your family to be comfortable, warm, and without worry. To ensure that, you must prepare your property so that it is not vulnerable to damage. This includes updating smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, protecting outdoor equipment and furniture, checking furnaces, and insulating pipes.
The importance of working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors is obvious. Their job is to detect smoke or carbon monoxide in order to keep your family safe. According to the National Fire Protection Association, three out of every five home fire deaths resulted from homes with no smoke alarm. Today highlights the importance of this in a report and asks people to think about the following:
Normally you want to replace smoke alarms every 10 years. Dust often gets into the smoke sensor, which means it can no longer detect smoke. One way to properly test it is to blow out a candle and put the alarm right by the smoke. It should go off. Checking a carbon monoxide detector follows a similar process. Click on the test button and ensure the alarm goes off.
Get a Shed
If you keep patio furniture outdoors all winter or if you keep ladders, wheelbarrows or any other equipment stacked and off to the side, you probably already know how the elements can take a toll. To ensure these items last, it’s ideal to tuck them away for the season. f you don't have enough space in a garage, consider building a shed to house everything. Not only do your belongings stay protected, but you also have the opportunity to tidy up your outdoor space, which will come in handy when spring and summer roll around. Many people turn to either wood or steel when it comes to these structures, and each has its pros and cons. Steel can be put up quickly, is highly durable and relatively inexpensive, but it can require insulation. Wood, on the other hand, can be more aesthetically pleasing, but wood structures tend to need more upkeep and can be expensive to erect. Whatever you decide on, you'll have peace of mind knowing your furniture and gear will stay in top shape until it's time to bring everything out again.
Check the Furnace
Another important aspect of winter preparation is of course checking the furnace that keeps your family warm.
One way to inspect the furnace, according to Family Handyman, is by following these steps:
If they are not, you might have to dust off the inside by vacuuming or blowing off the dust with a straw. Then replace the filters regularly; clogged air filters will make the furnace work harder and cost more problems down the road. If need be, schedule a professional to come in before the weather changes.
Part of keeping your furnace working properly over time is ensuring that any cold air flowing through is stopped. Check to see if any cracks in windows or walls are allowing air in by holding a candle to corners and possible cracks. Use caulk to seal around windows to keep cold air out and warm air in.
Mind those Pipes
When it comes to your home, the goal should always be timely maintenance in order to avoid costly repairs later. First thing first with pipes: know where your water shut off valve is in case a pipe bursts. Popular Mechanics magazine suggests insulating the pipes with foam or fiberglass or putting a space heater if you have large uninsulated crawl spaces like attics. If a pipe does freeze, make sure to turn on a faucet, locate ice blockage and use a heat gun or blow dryer to thaw a frozen pipe.
As the snow blankets the roads and winter’s icy weather seeps in, you and your home are prepared for anything. Damage can happen quickly if you are not careful. A burst pipe will flood and can cause thousands of dollars of damage in a short while. Keeping track of these quick maintenance tips is a small price to pay versus major damage that can occur if it is neglected.