6 Easy Ways to Weatherproof Your Home Before Winter


The winter season will be here before you know it, so it is time to get ready for the bad weather. Cold temperatures, ice and snow storms can wreak havoc on your home if you are not diligent. Winter weather causes more than one billion dollars in property damage every year in the United States. In addition to the catastrophic losses, winter weather can also drive up your heating costs. Making these six weatherproofing changes to your home will ensure that the winter season does not cost you a lot of money this year.

Cover Basement Windows

Since basement windows are located near the ground, they get exposed to all of the elements of winter. In addition to letting in a lot of cold air, a poorly sealed basement window can also let in water from the melted ice and snow. This water exposure can potentially destroy your basement, so you need to properly protect your home. The best way to do this is by covering the basement window well with a heavy-duty material.

Check the Heating System

A lot of old furnaces fail to work properly after being shut off all summer. This can cause you to have no heat on the first cold night of the year. Avoid this potential disaster by getting your furnace serviced right now. This will make sure your home is heated efficiently and effectively when winter hits. Heating costs account for nearly half a home's energy consumption, so you do not want to drive up these costs with an inefficient furnace.

Clear the Gutters

The changing weather causes your gutters to get filled with leaves and debris. Cleaning out the gutters can be a huge chore, but it something you absolutely must do before winter hits. If you do not clean them, then the melting snow and ice will not be able to run off the roof. This can lead to a leaky roof or collapsing gutters. There is simply no reason to risk this structural damage to your home when the gutters can be cleared in a few hours.

Trim the Trees

If you have any trees on your property, then they need to be trimmed as soon as possible. Ice and snow add a lot of weight to tree branches. All of the fragile and dead branches will snap under this extra weight. These failing branches will cause serious damage if they hit someone in your family. They can also cause a lot of financial troubles if they fall on your home or car. All of these issues can be avoided with one quick call to a tree trimming company.

Insulate the Pipes

The pipes in your home are very susceptible to damage during the cold winter season. The risk of freezing pipes is very small these days, but the low temperatures can still cause the indoor pipes to burst. One broken pipe usually costs around $5,000 in damage to your home. Avoid this costly damage by weatherproofing your pipes with foam insulation. While you should try to insulate all of your water pipes, it is vitally important to cover the ones exposed to harsh conditions.

Reverse the Ceiling Fans

The last thing you need to do to get your home ready for winter is reversing all of your ceiling fans. If the fan blades spin clockwise, then they will actually draw all of the cold air in the room up to the ceiling. This will also help keep all of the warm air near the floors, so the furnace will not have to kick on as much as normal. Reversing the ceiling fans can drastically reduce your heating costs, and all you need to do is flip a switch on the fan. Just make sure to turn off the fan when leaving the room to get the most savings on your energy bills.

Taking these six easy steps will help you prepare your home for winter in no time. These precautions will keep your house safer and warmer during the harsh winter months. Having taken these steps, you can enjoy the winter and stay warm in your home without worrying about the negative effects of the harsh weather on your home and your heating and electric bill.

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