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Prepare your home for winter: 10 Tips

Ten Quick Tips to Prep Your Home for Winter in Hebron, Ohio

Seems like the kids were just trick-or-treating a few days ago, and the leaves were just beginning to turn from green to yellow, red, and orange.

It’s hard to believe, but it’s the week of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving!

While our holiday may be a bit different in 2020, as part of (quite possibly) the strangest year ever, your home still needs a little TLC to keep your family warm and safe over the coming cold season. We’re only about a month away from the Winter Solstice, and now is the time to prepare your home for Central Ohio’s coming cold weather.

Before Old Man Winter makes his annual appearance, we recommend you complete the following ten items to get your home ready.

1.     Check Your Rain Gutters

The worst possible thing that could happen to your home’s rain gutters are ice dams. Ice dams are created when water can’t drain through the downspout. The quickest method to prevent this issue is to clean your gutters and downspouts, ensuring the water drains all the way to your street gutters. Even better if you can install gutter guards to prevent leaves and other matter from filling the gutters.

2.     Insulate Your Plumbing

You can protect your home’s plumbing from freezing during the coldest days or nights by insulating susceptible pipes. This could include your garden hose bibbs or any pipes that are exposed outside or in an uninsulated crawlspace, basement or attic. Be sure to shut off the water that supplies the outdoor faucets, and ideally install a valve inside your home that does that.

3.     Prep the Garden Hose

As part of your winter prep, be sure to completely drain the garden hose, then store in your garage, basement or storage shed. Water left in a hose can cause it to freeze, expand, and split the hose. If the hose is still attached to the hose bibb, an ice buildup can also cause the pipes in your home to burst. A five minute task to put the hose away for the winter can save all those headaches.

4.     Seal Any Cracks

Check around doors and windows for leaks and cracks that can let cold air into your home (and allow warm air to escape). Install weather stripping around doors and windows, use caulking to seal cracks, and expanding foam insulation to fill large gaps.

5.    Safe Driveways and Outdoor Steps

A friend slipped on the neighbor’s porch step last February, injuring her shoulder and causing endless grief and medical bills. Be sure to keep steps, sidewalks and drives free of ice and snow. Stock up NOW before the first snowfall. If your steps don’t currently have a handrail, consider installing one to make the steps easier and safer to navigate.

6.     Master Water Shut-Off Valve

It’s important to know where the master shut-off valve in your home is located. It’s usually just inside the house near where the water line enters the house. Get to know the location, and how to shut off the water in case of an emergency. In addition, an emergency pressure release valve installed in your plumbing system can prevent a catastrophe from a burst pipe.

7.     Maintain the Temperature

Set your home’s thermostat to keep the temperature to at least a steady 65 degrees to prevent the outer regions of the home getting colder than 32 degrees and allowing the pipes to freeze.

8.     Heating System Maintenance

For obvious reasons, this is the most important step in this list. Keeping your furnace properly maintained on an annual basis is of utmost importance to prevent any issues on the coldest days of the year, when it’s working its hardest to keep up.

9.     Fire Prevention and Awareness

Statistics show that residential fires are more common during the winter months, making it all the more important that your smoke detectors work properly. A good rule of thumb is to replace batteries when we change from daylight savings time and back, in the spring and fall. A carbon monoxide detector is important as well, to let you know if there is a dangerous buildup of the dangerous invisible gas in your home. Carbon monoxide is the byproduct of carbon burning equipment like furnaces, and should be exhausted outside by the heating system.

10.  Keep the Flora in Check

Ice, snow and especially wind can weaken tree branches and potentially damage your home, your car, or humans nearby. Keep your trees trimmed a safe distance from the roof and walls of your home.

BONUS for SNOWBIRDs

If you head south every winter, or if you have a cabin or other structure you aren’t planning to visit at all during the cold season, you’ll want to take a few extra precautions. It’s a good idea to winterize the plumbing by shutting the water off at the master valve, opening sink and tub valves to drain, and pouring a little automotive anti-freeze in your toilets. That will prevent major problems for occurring should your power go out or you should lose heat. You can also use the help from technology, by installing a WiFi Smart Thermostat that will let you know when there’s a problem with your heat. Also, many of the new home security systems offer water sensors and temperature sensors to let you know when things have gone south (both literally and figuratively).

Insure You’re Insured

One final note: check with your insurance agent to be sure your homeowner’s policy adequately covers any damage caused by nature – like frozen pipes, roof leaks, falling tree branches – and so on. It’s a quick call that could save you a lot of headaches.

Dor-Mar to the Rescue!

Schedule an appointment for HVAC system installation, troubleshooting or maintenance with us today by using our online contact form, or call one our Heath number listed below . We pride ourselves on our customer-focused service, and our reviews show it!

HEBRON, OHIO 740.640.6135

Dor-Mar…Your Climate Hero!

*Please note: neither the Centers for Disease Control(CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), nor the manufacturer of our UV-C Devices have officially announced whether UV-C kills the current strain of Corona Virus (COVID-19). We urge you to err on the side of caution until we have a definitive answer, and take other measures to prevent the acquisition or spread of this virus.

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