1. Check your Gutters.
Attics should be well-ventilated and around 10 degrees warmer inside than outside. Make sure that your attic floor is also properly insulated. Clean your gutters, install gutter guards (if possible) to prevent ice dams.
2. Protect Your Pipes.
Make sure pipes are insulated. Have a couple faucets running as temperatures drop to guard against pipes bursting.
3. Seal any Cracks.
Weather stripping is super impprtant around doors, windows, mail chutes, and A/C. If there are any cracks or holes make sure to apply caulk.
4. Stop Slips.
Try to maintain sidewalks and driveways by putting down plastic to avoid a frozen ground. If there is already ice; use sand, saw dust, coffee grinds, or kitty litter for added traction.
5. Install an Emergency Release.
Consider installing an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system. This will protect against increased pressure caused by freezing pipes and can prevent them from bursting. It’s also a good idea to learn how to shut the water off and know where your pipes are located.
6. Keep it Cozy.
As winter temperature sets in, 65 degrees is a good number to keep your thermostat.
7. Have your Heating Checked.
Once a year you should have your furnaces, boilers and chimneys serviced to keep them running efficiently and clear any buildup.
8. Test Detectors.
Winter is the time that more residentail fires occurs, so checking your smoke detectors is highly important. Make sure you replace batteries as needed. Having a carbon monoxide detector would also be a good idea.
9. Clear your Yard.
Added weight from ice and snow can weaken trees and cause them to break and potentially damage your home. Keep the trees trimmed and remove dead branches and debris from your yard.
10. Put up Hoses.
Remove garden hoses and drain them before putting them up for the winter. Shut off the valves and insulate the faucet.
If you are leaving for the winter, then turn off your water completely and think about having the pipes drained. Have a friend or neighbor check on your home regularly to look for any issues.
Most homeowners insurance policies cover damages due to extreme winter weather, but make sure you speak with your independent agent to answer any questions you have about your specific homeowners, condo or renters’ insurance policy.