Preparing your home for northeast Ohio winter
Winters can be cold and involve a lot of snow and ice in northeast Ohio. Planning and preparation during early fall are key to keeping energy costs low. A little maintenance can increase the efficiency and lifespan of many of your home’s components. With a little work, you can make your home more efficient and safer for your family this winter. If you need any help with this checklist, call Allen Keith to insure that you are ready for a long, cold winter. We’ll help you with any home design, renovation, or emergency clean up needed, and point you in the right direction on your routine winter maintenance needed that you can do on your own. Here are some suggestions for preparing your home for northeast Ohio winter weather.
1. Seal your windows from heat loss.
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, 10 percent of the air that leaks out of a house exits through the windows. Replace any windows that are broken, leaky or cause a draft. It can cost you much more in the long run on energy bills, then it will on replacement windows.
2. Replace drafty doors.
Exterior doors take a lot of abuse with daily wear and tear, protecting your home from the elements. This daily wear and tear can cause your front door or sliding doors to stick, creak or cause a draft. These are all signs that you should consider replacement doors before northeast Ohio winter hits. Your doors should close with a tight seal and protect against costing you money in energy bills. Professionals, like Allen Keith, can help you choose a door that looks good, while still keeping nature outdoors where it belongs.
3. Repair holes or weak spots in your roof.
Repair your roof and missing shingles before a small problem becomes a large one. Melting snow can cause significant leaks that not only will cause further damage to your roof, but also can potentially cause extreme leaks indoor and damage to drywall and ceilings.
4. Inspect your homes siding.
Check for loose siding, cracked siding or broken siding. Siding repair experts, like those at Allen Keith, will help you repair your siding with the material and color to match your existing siding. Damaged siding should be prepared before winter hits, to protect against water penetration behind the siding and causing further problems.
5. Make sure your deck is protected.
At Allen Keith, we have years of experience in creating top-quality decks and outdoor spaces. We also have experience in remodeling decks that have not been properly maintained and have been beaten up by northeast Ohio weather. To prepare for winter you should:
- Inspect decks for splintering, decay, or insect damage.
- Clean your deck thoroughly. Clean leaves, dirt, and pine needles between the boards of wooden decks to thwart mold and mildew growth.
- Apply a water-repellent finish to protect against damage or further deterioration over the winter.
6. Winterize your water areas.
Drain the swimming pool. Protect your fountains from freeze damage. Move any fish from shallow ponds.
7. Prepare your yard.
Trim overgrown branches back from the house and electrical wires to prevent iced-over or wind-swept branches from causing property damage or a power problem. The dirt grade — around the exterior of your home — should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas, as necessary. Inspect outdoor lighting around the property. Good illumination will help minimize the chance of accidents on icy walkways at night. Check handrails on exterior stairs to make sure they’re well secured.
8. Make sure your heating sources are in good working condition.
- Get the annual furnace or heat pump inspection done.
- Change the filters on your furnace.
- Clean your whole house humidifier and replace the evaporator pad.
- If you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable unit to save on heating costs
9. Protect pipes from freezing.
To minimize the possibility of water freezing in your plumbing pipes causing them to burst, wrap each pipe in a blanket of foam insulation. Drain outside hoses and faucets. Remove any attached hoses and store them away for the winter. Wrap outside faucets with covers to prevent water damage.
10. Move your snow blower and shovels to the front of the garage or shed for easy access.
Make sure you have a supply of ice melt on hand for steps, walkways, and the driveway.