Now that those pleasant summer temperatures have officially left us, it’s the perfect time to winterize your summer home and prepare it for the cold winter months ahead. Failing to perform these preventative measures before snow, ice, and freezing temperatures hit could cause your home to incur serious damage. As you prepare to winterize your home, make sure to include the following tasks on your to-do list.
Protect Your Plumbing
There are few winterizing tasks more important than protecting your plumbing from freezing temperatures. You should always make a habit of examining your home’s pipes each winter to ensure that anything exposed to the elements is adequately insulated.
However, the best way to keep pipes from bursting in freezing weather is to prevent water from traveling through the pipes. Before you leave your home for the season, turn off the main water supply and open all interior and exterior faucets to drain any remaining water. Then, have a plumber pump antifreeze into your pipes and toilet. Failing to winterize your pipes could lead to catastrophic water damage that you may not be aware of for months.
Regulate the Temperature
If you winterize your pipes, you may think you don’t have to worry about how cold they get. This may lead you to turn off your heating completely, believing that if your pipes freeze from the cold it won’t produce damage. However, pipes are not the only part of your home that can be damaged from cold. The wood and drywall in your home can also be irreparably damaged from the cold. Before you leave your home, set your heat to a low setting but don’t turn it off completely. Paying a little for heating is better than spending larger amounts of money on home repairs.
Add Insulation to Vulnerable Areas
You may also winterize your summer home by making sure windows, doors, and other vulnerable spots are properly insulated. When these areas that open to the outside are left without insulation, drafts of cold air penetrate the property. Check heavy-use doors or windows for wear and tear on the current insulation. If you have an attic or chimney, inspect those as well.
Examine Your Roof and Gutters
If you don’t winterize your summer home properly, you may be vulnerable to water damage along your roof. You can prevent this by checking the length of your gutters to ensure they are unblocked and clean. If any blockages of water or ice occur in your gutter, this can lead to significant exterior and interior damages.
You should also check your roof for damaged or missing shingles, which can lead to leaks during rain or snowstorms. Finally, check the flashing installed around exterior joints to ensure they are working correctly and diverting runoff away from vulnerable areas.
Secure Your Outdoor Spaces
Finally, you can winterize your summer home by securing the items in your outdoor areas. Bring inside patio and deck furniture to prevent them from being damaged by weather. If you cannot move furniture inside your home or into a garage or shed, secure it in the next safest place. You don’t want your furniture to fly away in high winds and damage your property.
Consider Neighborly Help
If you won’t be at your summer home during the winter, but you have a neighbor who will stay in town or come back periodically, you may ask them for help. If you trust them, ask them to check your property once in a while for signs of damage you should know about.
By taking all of these precautions, you can winterize your summer home successfully and enjoy it as soon as possible next year.
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T&G Builders, located in Berlin, MD, has been a premier waterfront custom home builder and home improvement contractor serving Worcester and Sussex Counties for over 25 years. We are a locally owned and operated business known for our uncompromising commitment to quality, our passion for using innovative technology and premium materials to complete projects, and our exceptional attention to detail. In addition to building custom homes, we also specialize in remodeling your current house into your dream home! Our skilled team can assess your needs, determine the right design for your addition or improvement, and complete the entire construction process.
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