It’s that time of year! As the temperatures drop in the High Country of North Carolina, it’s time to winterize your house. Winterization can look a little different depending on if you are a permanent resident or if you own a second home. To better prepare, let’s run through a handful of smart rules for winterizing your home. Here are some important measures you can take to ensure you don’t suffer any unfortunate property damage during the winter months.
Crucial Steps for Preparing Properties for Cold Weather
#1: Prep your Plumbing
The first thing to think about, whether you will be in the home for the winter or not, is addressing the plumbing. Insulating your pipes is a great idea to prevent frozen and busted pipes, especially if your property uses a private well. When temperatures drop significantly, leaving a few faucets dripping will help to keep your plumbing in working order.
If you are leaving your home empty for the winter, you need to shut off the main water valve, water heater and water pump (if you have one). You will also need to shut down your septic system to keep it operating at peak performance. Open all water valves in the house and let the pipes run dry. You will also need to drain out the water heater. Make sure all toilets are clear. For extra precaution, add a little antifreeze to anything that might hold water.
#2: Keep Insulated
Cold drafts can drive your energy bill and prevent you from staying cozy. Keeping your home insulated will help you remain energy efficient this winter. Make sure windows, doors, and all opening are properly sealed and caulked. The majority of heat loss typically occurs from openings in the attic. Be sure to check upstairs for any air leaks.
#3: Inspect the Chimney
If you plan on using a wood burning stove or fireplace, now is the time to make sure that your chimney is clean and free of any debris. Have a chimney sweeper service your roof flashing, flue liner, and cap before lighting your first fire of the season. While gas fireplaces require less maintenance than traditional fireplaces, you should still consider an inspection for them as well.
#4: Maintain the Exterior
Maintaining the exterior of you home is just as important as keeping up the interior. Cleaning out gutters can prevent ice dams from forming. Ice dams can force water under the shingles on your roof and into the home or tear gutters off if they become too heavy. Keep the roof clear of debris and trim back branches that may fall in heavy winds or ice storms. Repairing your roof and gutter system can be costly and cause untimely damage. The easiest step of maintaining your exterior is to bring in seasonal items such as outdoor furniture or grills to prevent them from being worn by the elements or blown away by strong winds.
For any other questions or ideas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us at 828 Real Estate! If you’re looking for local recommendations for home repair and maintenance, we have you covered. We’re experts in hunkering down for the harsh winter months in the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountains.