Winter Home Maintenance

by Brandi Savitt – January 10, 2010

Avoiding Big Repair Bills One Snowflake at a Time

I have lived in New York long enough to consider myself a true New Yorker.  BUT –  when it comes to how poorly New Yorkers deal with the winter and the snow, I am still a  Chicagoan at heart!  It’s cold outside, and there has been enough snow already in the Midwest and East Coast to last us all season.  And as flurries are even falling down south today, no city or state seems immune from getting hit with a big winter storm this year.  So, we have some Fab & Fru essential home maintenance tips to help increase the efficiency of your house or apartment and help you save money!

Budget for Maintaining Your Home!

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that you shouldn’t wait until there is two feet of snow on your roof to fix that pesky leak that you noticed last summer.  Budgeting for home repairsand fixing them before bad weather hits – is the best way to get your house ready for the winter and avoid once small repairs turning into extensive & EXPENSIVE fixes.  However, for homeowners who didn’t prepare in advance for the extreme winter weather, there are still ways for you to protect your home and your wallet from cold weather damage!

Keep Your Gutters Clean & Clear

Keeping your gutters clean and free of leaves and debris in the winter months is incredibly important because when ice melts during the day and then re-freezes at night, ice dams can form blocking water from flowing properly into the gutter. This condition can force water back under the roof line and cause leaks.  However unless you have a serious death wish, NEVER go up on the roof when it’s covered in with snow and ice.  It is extremely dangerous and not worth you risking your life! Call a professional if you are having a major problem, or wait until the weather is warmer so there is no ice to slip on!

Keep Your Attic Well Ventilated

Keep your attic well ventilated to maintain a temperature close to that of the outdoors and minimize risk of ice dams forming on your roof.  If your attic is too warm, it will melt the snow on the roof, causing water to run down and refreeze on the roof’s edge, where it’s much cooler.  If ice builds up and blocks water from draining, water is forced under the roof covering and into your attic or down the inside walls of your house.

Frozen Pipes

Be sure your pipes – especially those exposed or in unheated areas like crawl spaces or closets near a window or door – are wrapped in insulation to prevent freezing and bursting.   Also, know where your water shut-off valves are so you can turn off the water supply in case of a leak or a burst pipe!

Reduce Your Heating Bill

Make sure that your windows & doors are properly sealed to avoid cold air seeping in and warm air getting out!  When you are not using your fireplace, close the flue, and where ever you feel a draft coming in, roll up a towel or use a draft blocker at the base of doors or if air is coming through an improperly sealed window.

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One Response to “Winter Home Maintenance”

  1. Alicia says:

    Great tips here…as always. Preparing for winter will save a lot of money and headaches. That is for sure. Thanks so much!!!

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