Even though this fall has been unseasonably warm for some Americans, winter’s cold snap is fast approaching. With the change in weather comes the potential for home damages. According to a survey from ValuePenguin, only 38 percent of homeowners said they had fixed damages from last winter, opening themselves up to even more harm in the coming months.
Homeowners need to take preemptive measures to guard their homes against the various and potential destruction that winter can cause. To stop the damage before it starts, we’ve written down some of the top mistakes homeowners make during winter.
Not Covering, Draining or Protecting Outdoor Faucets
Everyone knows that cracks in a home lead to cold air seeping in. But did you know that hoses coiled up outside can lead to this as well? Homeowners should disconnect their outdoor water hoses, drain excess water and cover the spigots. By doing so, you prevent cold air from entering your home through the faucet and freezing which may damage pipes and spigots. Plus, the more cold air that’s let in during the winter, the more you’re going to pay to keep your house heated.
Letting Icicles Hang
It is a welcome and charming sight to see those wonderful wintry icicles hanging from your gutters. But as pretty a sight as it might be, they are truly dangerous for homeowners and their families as they can fall on someone, fracturing their skull in the process. Plus, the weight of them can separate your gutters from your home leaving your gutters ineffective which can lead to even more damage. To prevent these risk from happening, make sure to knock the icicles down from a safe distance, standing away, so they don’t come falling down on you. Homeowners can achieve this by using a shovel or broom and pushing out.
Not Preparing Appliances
You’ll need to prepare all appliances that you’ll use during the long, cold winter ahead. From washing machines to dishwashers to refrigerators, homeowners need to take specific measures to ensure their integrity. For instance, you’ll want to have someone look at your furnace to ensure it’s safe and running efficiently so you have heat when it starts getting colder. If your refrigerator has any leaks, make sure to take care of it now before it causes more damage to your kitchen. And don’t forget to winterize your air conditioning units!
Keeping Firewood in Close Proximity to Your House….. but not too close!
It’s not uncommon to see firewood stacked up against a home. However, homeowners should avoid this as this creates an excellent place for mice, bugs and insects to settle in for the winter. You don’t want these pests to enter your home by hitching a ride on a log, so the best thing to do is stack firewood more than six feet away from exterior walls and keep it elevated on a rack. When you pick out some wood for a fire, shake and inspect it before you bring it inside.