Now that leaves and pine needles are falling, it’s a sign that homeowners should have started (or already completed) preparations for the winter weather that may lie ahead. Whether it’s snow and ice or wind and rain, you want the exterior of your Ocean Isle home to be ready. A little preparation using these winterizing tips may go a long way to help keep the exterior of your house in good condition into next spring and beyond.
Starting at the front door, walk around the exterior of your home and consider these 7 winterizing tips to help with your efforts.
Get Your Ocean Isle Home Ready with These 7 Winterizing Tips
Fortify Exterior Doors
If you feel a draft coming in under your front door or any other exterior door, install a draft guard which slides between the door and the floor or ground to help stop heat from escaping. An added benefit for installing the draft guard is so less dirt and debris can blow in as well.
But if you’re feeling a large draft, you may want to consider replacing the exterior door with a new one that’s more energy efficient. According to Energy.gov, steel and fiberglass entry doors may offer five times the insulating value of a wooden door.
Turn Off Outdoor Water Lines & Faucets
Make sure to shut off and drain any external faucets or sprinkler systems. You should also disconnect and store your garden hoses in a shed or garage to prevent any leftover water in the hose from freezing and cracking or bursting the hose. Trapped water can also freeze and damage pipes as well.
Check for Gaps
As you inspect the exterior of your Ocean Isle home, look for gaps in the siding along window frames and doors. Thoroughly fill any noticeable gaps with caulk. It’s an inexpensive way to fix air leaks, and it may help save you money on energy bills, according to EnergyStar.gov.
Clean the Gutters and Inspect the Roof
Though we don’t typically get a lot of snow and ice in the Ocean Isle area, the rare storm does occur. Because of the unknown, it’s a good idea to remove leaves and other debris from your gutters to help prevent ice buildup and icicles. Clean gutters will help enable melting ice to flow away from your house. Because there are so many chances for snow and ice to freeze and thaw in the winter, having clean gutters may help prevent possible roof or interior ceiling damage. If you have safety concerns about cleaning your gutters, consider hiring a professional.
While you’re checking on your gutters, make sure your roof can handle a major storm, says Ready.gov. If you haven’t lived through a winter in your home, the agency suggests consulting with a roofing professional to help ensure that your roof is strong enough to withstand a heavy snowfall, as freak as one may be in our area. If the professional finds any roof leaks or other damage, repair them before the winter sets in. Remember, roof inspections should be left to a professional.
Trim the Trees
Fall is a good time to trim any dead branches on trees on your property, as winter storms can weigh down trees and branches with ice and snow. If the branches are dead, that extra weight can cause them to break off the tree, potentially hitting whatever is beneath, such as your car or home. The Federal Emergency Management Agency suggests you also trim branches that are close to the sides of your house and roof that may cause damage.
Gather Your Supplies
Keep snow-melting materials and sand in an easy-to-access spot so you will be ready to clear sidewalks and your driveway and help add traction when and if winter weather strikes our area. Ready.gov recommends making sure you have enough rock salt or, if you have pets, a deicer that is safe for use near animals. You may want to consider products that meet the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Safer Choice Standard.”
Tune up Your Heating System
The previous winterizing tips are all important, but before chilly winter nights set in, you should make an appointment for your annual heating system maintenance. Without this yearly cleaning and inspection, a system can wear itself out quickly, pump deadly carbon monoxide into your home, or simply stop working altogether. Whatever type of system you have, don’t wait until it breaks down to wish you had done maintenance. A clean, well-adjusted heating system will save you money on fuel and prolong furnace life.
These winterizing tips may help ensure your home’s exterior AND INTERIOR stays safe and sound during the coming winter months.
A+ Heating, Cooling and Electrical, can help with any heating system issues you may be having in Ocean Isle NC. Call us today at 910-754-2200, or contact us now and someone will contact you as quickly as possible to answer any questions you may have about your Ocean Isle home ready for winter.