Summer is still here, but those first chilly days are right around the corner. As temperatures finally start to drop in some areas, consider these seasonal maintenance tasks that make it easier to winterize and protect homes.
Protect the Roof by Cleaning the Gutters
Although a home’s roof is meant to provide protection from the elements, it is still vulnerable to cold weather. Act to prevent roof damage by ensuring proper attic ventilation and insulation, cleaning out the gutters, and installing a set of gutter guards. If you need repairs on your roof, late summer is the perfect time to schedule them.
Don’t Forget the Pipes
When outside temperatures are under 32 degrees Fahrenheit, run a trickle of water through a couple of taps to prevent bursting and freezing. On well pumps, it may be a good idea to wrap exposed piping. To safeguard indoor plumbing, consider opening cabinet doors to allow warm air to surround those pipes.
Install a Pressure Release Valve
It may also be a good idea to install an emergency pressure release valve somewhere on the home’s plumbing system. It’ll minimize the effects of pressure increases within a frozen pipe, and it may keep them from bursting. Finally, learn where the main water valve is and how to turn it off.
Seal it Up
Next, it’s time to seal up those little cracks and holes that may go unnoticed during the summer. Use a high-quality caulk to seal openings around air conditioners, doors, and windows; it will keep cold air from coming in. If that’s not enough, seals and weather stripping will provide additional protection from heat loss.
Minimize the Risk of Slip-and-Fall Accidents
Homeownership comes with certain risks, but winter weather magnifies them considerably. You can decrease the risk, however, by keeping sidewalks and driveways clear of snow and ice and repairing broken handrails and steps. Finally, prepare for icy winter weather by keeping some salt on hand; it works well when sprinkled on outside surfaces.
Check the Heating System
Minnesota winters can be brutal, and a functional heating system is a necessity. Chimneys, boilers, and furnaces must be serviced at least once—and preferably twice—per year to remove buildup and maintain efficiency.
Keep Things Cozy
Before winter weather hits, make sure the house is properly insulated. Consider installing a programmable, energy-efficient thermostat to keep warm air in frequently used rooms and set it to about 65 degrees Fahrenheit for indoor comfort without high utility bills.
Test the Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
The risk of house fires increases exponentially during winter, so it’s crucial to ensure that smoke detectors are functional. Check them once a month and replace the batteries when necessary. It’s wise to install a carbon monoxide detector to prevent this odorless, tasteless, and toxic gas from taking over the home.
Clean Up the Yard
Now that you’ve gotten the house ready for winter, the hard work isn’t over; there’s still a lot to do outside. Wind, ice, and snow can significantly weaken trees, putting people and property at risk. Keep trees trimmed, removing branches that hang over the roof.
Put the Hose Away
Gardening is a fun summer pastime, but there’s little need for garden hoses during a long, cold winter. During the fall, remove attached hoses, drain them, and put them away before turning off the valves and insulating the spigots.
Prompt Action Prevents Damage
While Minnesota’s homes are built to withstand winter weather, they still need occasional maintenance. When it’s time to get your home and its roof ready for cold days, we’re here to help. Call, click, or email to schedule an estimate.