Six Tips to Get Your Home Ready For the Winters

Six Tips to Get Your Home Ready For the Winters

Winters sure are exciting; snowfall, chilly winds, and hot chocolate. After a sunny and humid summer in Long Island, who wouldn’t be eager for its chilly winters? However, as exciting as the winters can be after an excruciating summer season, it comes with its own set of challenges.

Winters – with storms and below-freezing temperatures, can be fierce on homes and homeowners.  An investment in preparing for a potentially wild season might seem unnecessary or too costly right now, but this can save you a great deal of hassle that you would have to go through if your house incurs damage on account of the cold, snow, ice, or rain.

Last year, according to News Day, winters in Long Island broke records; it experienced the coldest winters since December 2012. In January, the temperature was 6.1 degrees lower than the previous winters, standing at 30.1 degrees.

An intense winter can wreak havoc on homes; we suggest planning some necessary repairs to prepare it for the cold season. Don’t know where to start? Let us guide you.

1. Give your HVAC system a once-over

Discovering that your heating system isn’t working when the winter chill is at its peak can be terrible. While most HVAC systems have a 12-15 year lifespan, you never know when things go awry, and anything short of tip-top shape can be problematic.

Even if yours is working just fine, it is surely due for a filter change – at the very least – before the chill season strikes.

Better yet, book yearly maintenance. Search for the Best HVAC Company in Long Island City, NY, and schedule an inspection ASAP.

Moreover, it would be best to make it a habit of inspecting your filters every month to keep them from gathering dust and increasing longevity. We suggest investing in pleated filters because they have a greater particle-trapping surface area.

2. Service the boiler

If you don’t want the boiler to stop working while taking a steamy shower, it’s time to get it serviced.

We suggest getting it done ASAP because finding a professional during the winter is difficult. So scheduling it during the off-season is a better idea.

A thorough boiler check is not limited to filter and nozzle replacement; it also includes a draft test and monoxide level detection using combustion analyzers. This ensures the exhaust is working properly and deadly gases aren’t accumulating.

3. Get the pipes insulated

Many homeowners know the importance of insulating pipes, but when they go wrong, repair bills are through the roof.

For instance, an unwrapped pipeline in an attic can leak throughout the season and lead to major damage to property. When the cold season comes in, the pipes could freeze and, in severe cases, burst.

We suggest calling the professionals for a thorough inspection, or if you want to DIY the problem, look for fiberglass pipe insulation.

4. Secure exterior wood from the elements

Winters come with inevitable storms, and in Long Island, winters are striking harder almost every year. This year, snowstorms are expected to hit in late January and mid-February – so be prepared.

The most vulnerable part of your house during a heavy snowstorm is the exterior of your home, obviously – so it’s time to protect the wood trimming.

We believe the wood on the furniture is already treated for protection against rot and pressure, but that can’t be the case for the exterior.

If this wood trim gets damaged and needs repair, a lot of unnecessary costs can go into it. We advise against DIYing this and suggest calling a professional to protect the wood trimming exposed to the elements.

If the wood is protected, it will not only survive the cold nicely but also increase the value of your house if you plan on selling it. From an investment standpoint, it’s a win-win.

5. Clear the gutters

As autumn bids farewell, you’ll find leaves everywhere, including your drainage system. While it might not be creating much of a problem right now, it surely will when the chilly season arrives.

Clogged gutters will overflow, causing substantial damage to the structure of the house and even infiltrate the basement, threatening the entire foundation. Moreover, melting snow will also clog the gutters if they’re not cleaned regularly.

As the temperatures drop, the heavier debris will also freeze, and if the structure can’t support this additional weight, the gutters can tear apart. Call a professional for a complete inspection and fix any lingering issues you might have overlooked.

6. Clean out the pool and drain the faucets

Standing water can cause severe structural damage to your foundation, so you must ensure it is either dried or drained.

If you have faucets outside the house for the garden, ensure they’re sealed properly to prevent leaking and clean the pool out if you don’t plan on using it for the winter. Clogged water can damage the faucets and the pipeline, causing it to burst if it’s not drained properly.

To properly drain the faucets, shut off the main supply and open the valves to let out any remaining water.

Final words

Winters can be devastating for unprepared homeowners, especially if you live in Long Island. As winter approaches, check your HVAC system, service the boiler, insulate pipelines, protect external wood, clear the gutters, and clean out standing water.

A little carelessness right now can trigger season-long hassles that can be avoided, so don’t wait; call in a professional and sort these minor issues out ASAP.

We hope you learned something from this article. If you think we missed something, please tell us in the comments below.

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