The internet brims with videos explaining how to winterize your home. The problem? You cannot easily tote around a tablet and simultaneously perform the required home winterizing. What you need is a “How to Winterize Your Home Checklist,” something you can print and then carry with you as you move from task to task around the house.
Inside your Norwood-area home, you can take these steps to prepare for cold and snowy weather:
- Move furniture away from your HVAC system’s supply and return air vents — this improves air circulation and helps prevent cold spots throughout your home; it also improves your HVAC system’s performance, regardless of the type of heat you use
- Check carbon monoxide detectors — With windows and doors closed, levels of odorless, tasteless, colorless, but deadly CO gas (from any type of combustion inside your home) can rise, undetected by your nose
- Check smoke alarms — Batteries should be replaced twice a year; most detectors lose their effectiveness in ten years or less
- Reverse ceiling fans to pull rising warm air back down from the ceiling to recirculate and warm you from head to toe (and remember, pets live inches above your floors and will feel the cold far more than your two-legged family members)
- Seal your home’s doors and windows — If you have weatherstripping, inspect every inch to make sure it is still flexible and performing its job; if you lack weatherstripping, install it on all doors and windows, including your attic access door or hatchway
- Block air leaks under doors with purchased or homemade fabric draft stoppers; cover windows with special heat-shrink plastic wrap to improve energy efficiency and lower your fuel bills
- Put door stops under open doors of infrequently used rooms to prevent those doors from closing — your HVAC system works more efficiently and less expensively when rooms are not closed off
- Insulate exposed water pipes in crawl spaces, basements, and attics to prevent freezing
- Check your attic insulation to ensure you have the recommended thickness; you can use the federal Energy Star insulation map as a guide
- Clean your outside air conditioning unit and — if recommended by the manufacturer — cover it to protect it from snow and ice
- Tidy your yard, collect stray toys and tools, and clean around the foundations of your home to prevent items from becoming lost or damaged in snow and ice
- Put away patio and lawn furniture; fold up and store your patio umbrella
- Consider shrub guards to prevent damage to expensive landscaping
- Trim back overhanging tree branches to avoid roof damage; you may need a tree service if the trees are tall, leaning dangerously, or you do not feel safe performing the work
- Clean your gutters to help prevent ice dams and damage to your home’s fascia boards; again, if you are not comfortable on an extension ladder, leave gutter work to a contractor
Call It In
Some work is best done by highly skilled professionals. Be prepared to make some calls:
- As mentioned above, you may need to reach out to local contractors for gutter cleaning and tree trimming; schedule this early to avoid disappointment
- Have your HVAC system checked and serviced by knowledgeable technicians — you can replace the air filter yourself, but annual maintenance is beyond most homeowners’ abilities
- If attic insulation is damp or shows signs of insect or pest invasion, have professional insulation installers replace the insulation with the required thickness
- Have your neighborhood residential roofer inspect your roof before the snow flies — your roofer can make immediate repairs for minor issues and advise you on your roof’s future; can it handle snow loads? Can it withstand ice without forming ice dams?
- Discuss rooftop ice melting systems with your roofer — these can prevent ice dams, save your home’s gutters, and keep snow and ice from unexpectedly dropping off the roof edge
Call It Done
Only after completing the checklist can you call your winter preparations done. Your roof is the shield that literally protects just about everything else you own. Call your residential roofer early enough in the season to ensure an annual inspection and repair visit can be arranged before cold weather.
Winters are hard on roofs. At an early autumn inspection, your roofer can give you a realistic idea of your roof’s projected life span, so you can begin planning for roof succession — that time in the future when a complete roof replacement will give you peace of mind all winter long.
Homeowners in and around Norwood, Massachusetts, know to turn to O’LYN Roofing for all their roofing needs. Contact us today to put our 40+ years of experience to work for you, with a full range of roofing services, including roof leak repair, roof ice melt systems, complete roof replacement, and more.