Winter is here for the residents of Ohio, that means freezing temperatures, ice, snow and wind. The winter months can be extremely cruel to homes — heavy winds can snap the trees, a snowstorm can put undue stress on your roof, and the rain and ice can wreak havoc on your gutters and downspouts. Ohio weather is completely unpredictable, which means it’s time to prepare your home for the unexpected. With a few preparations for your home, you will be able to make your home more comfortable this winter as well as improve your home’s energy efficiency.
Prepare the Pipes
Ohio gets extremely cold in the winter, so it’s essential that you take extra measures to prepare the pipes. Before the first frost arrives, make sure to unhook and drain all garden hoses and store them in the garage or shed. Make sure to close the inside valves that supply water to the outdoor faucets. Remember to insulate indoor pipes in areas of your home that are usually unheated, such as the garage, attic and crawl space.
Invest in a Roof Rake
Investing in a roof rake for snow will help to prevent the snow from building up on the roof. On average, a roof can hold up to four feet of snow before causing stress. However, as the snow packs down from continuous storms, it may cause the roof to collapse. A roof rake will help you easily clear the snow off of the roof and protect your home from possible roof collapse.
Check Window and Door Seals
One of the best ways to ensure the windows and doors are properly sealed is to install weather stripping. Installing weather stripping will help to keep the cold air out and the warm air in, which can also help to keep your energy costs down. Before winter, be sure to check the following areas for drafts and leaks:
- Vents and fans
- Gas and electric lines
- Doors and windows
- Plumbing lines
- Mail chutes
Clean the Gutters
Ice dams are a serious problem for Ohio homes. Ice dams occur when the gutters are full of debris, such as leaves and sticks, which causes water from rain and melting snow to back up and overflow, then freeze. Once the water freezes it forces the water under the shingles and creates icicles which damage the gutters and downspouts. So, make sure the gutters are clear from any debris and dirt before the temperatures begin to fall below freezing.
Install Storm Doors and Windows
Installing storm doors and windows will significantly help to reduce the amount of heat loss during the winter months, especially if you have single-pane windows. If you don’t already have storm doors and windows, you still have time to order them before the temperatures get below freezing. Make sure storm doors and windows fit properly and are in good condition before installing.
While you are preparing your home for the upcoming winter, don’t forget to prepare an emergency kit. Your kit should include indoor candles and/or battery operated lanterns, matches, phone numbers for utility companies, bottled water, and nonperishable food supplies (if you have pets, don’t forget pet food) as well as a first aid kit and an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.
To learn more about preparing your home for the winter or for help with preparing your windows and roof, contact us at Wayne Overhead Door Sales and Home Improvement.