Cold Weather Chaos: How to Winterize Your Property & Prevent Damage

Braving the elements takes on a whole new meaning when it comes to your rental property. While winter’s onslaught is unpleasant and inconvenient, the effects of freezing temperatures, abundant snowfall, and never-ending ice can wreak havoc on your home. From frozen pipes to leaky roofs, you can avoid many of the problems associated with winter weather by properly winterizing your home. Using the following simple tips to devise a strategy for ensuring your home stays safe from danger.

file0001009376324Preventing Frozen Pipes
When the temperature drops, the water flowing through your home’s pipes may freeze if you don’t take the necessary precautions. To keep this from happening, you want to ensure your thermostat is set to at least 60ºF, which will help keep the ambient temperature high enough to discourage freezing. You can also leave your cabinet doors open, which allows warm air to circulate throughout your home and prevents cold spots for forming. On particularly cold days, let the water trickle from your faucets. Moving water keeps ice blocks from forming, in turn risking a burst pipe and untold damage to your home.

Plugging Entry Points to Your Home
Keep your heating bill reasonable and vermin at bay by taking the time to plug any entry points around your home. These include cracks where your foundation meets the walls of your home in the basement, as well as gaps and vents around your HVAC system. You should also take the time to properly cover any chimneys with a cap or screen, which helps to keep animals from entering your home. Before using the fireplace, be certain to inspect the damper to ensure it is opening and closing properly.

Cleaning Gutters & Downspouts
In addition to addressing the interior of the property, don’t neglect the roof and your gutters. Properly empty the gutters of all debris and loose leaves before winter weather arrives. Gutters full of refuse can become quite heavy when it rains or snows, and the frozen gutters allow water to accumulate on your roof. You should also check to see whether any shingles are missing from the roof, as these spots are susceptible to damage and leaks throughout the winter.

In addition to addressing the various challenges around your home, take the time to prepare for inclement weather by building an emergency kit and taking care of preventative maintenance. For example, furnace filters should be changed every 45-60 days. You’ll also want to clean your registers and vents regularly, which will help keep your equipment efficient. Purchase candles and lanterns you can use if you should experience a power outage, and don’t forget to leave your heat on if you leave for vacation during the winter months.

By following these simple tips, you should be able to keep your property in great condition throughout the winter. Although it takes a bit of effort, the results are well worth the investment of your time. When springtime finally arrives and brings the sun around once more, you’ll be incredibly thankful you took the time to protect your property against damage from the harsh winter.

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