2019 is upon us and with it comes the full throngs of winter. While most of us have not quite seen a lot of snow yet, we may be experiencing freezing temperatures which means parts of your house could get damaged this time of year. If you’re looking to protect your home and yourself, use these 8 simple tips to keep your home safe.
#1. Protect your plumbing.
Freezing temperatures can wreak havoc on a plumbing system as freezing water expands and can lead to breaks and cracks in the plumbing. One way to prevent this is to keep one or two faucets running slowly at a drip at all times to prevent water lines from freezing. Consider disconnecting garden hoses and covering them with an insulated faucet cover. If your water lines are in the garage, keep your garage door closed as often as possible. Caulk around any pipes leading into the house that may have gaps.
#2. Don’t let the heat drop too low.
It’s a good idea to not set the thermostat below 55° for extended periods of time. If you’re not planning on being in the house that often, consider leaving the heat on to at least 65°.
#3. Protect the roof.
Clear any debris from the roof, gutters, and drains to protect your roof, and inspect for any leaks or deterioration.
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#4. Check for dangerous branches.
Wind, snow, and ice can cause tree branches to suddenly drop or fall, which can be a huge detriment to anything in their way. Trim any trees near the roof, driveway, or other buildings on your property. If you have trees near power lines, your local utility company may inspect them free of charge.
#5. Replace your furnace filter.
Your furnace filter not only keeps the air clean inside your home, but it keeps debris out of the system. It’s important to change your furnace filter every month to six months, depending on the type of filter you have.
#6. Clean out your dryer’s lint duct.
A clogged dryer duct can not only extend the time it takes to dry your clothes, but it could be a fire hazard as well. Consider cleaning it out at least once a year with a vacuum cleaner.
#7. Clean the chimney.
Debris trapped inside a chimney can cause a chimney fire, which could spread to the rest of your house. Consider hiring a professional chimney sweep to inspect and clean your chimney each year. It’s also a good idea to sweep out your fireplace and dispose of the ashes in a heavy metal container.
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#8. Don’t let pests and rodents spoil your winter.
Plug up any cracks and crevices around your foundation and the home to prevent pests from getting inside. Store firewood at least 5 feet from the house to minimize the chances of termites, cockroaches, or ants entering the home.
Even if you’re not selling your home this year, doing these home maintenance tips will protect your home and keep it working in tip-top shape for years to come. When you’re ready, check out this list for getting your yard in shape for spring and summer.