Winterizing your North Carolina Home
10 Tips for Winterizing Your Home
While the start of winter is not officially until December 21st, the cold weather has already begun making its way towards residents of the Triangle NC area. Though the occasional warm front may tease, winter is coming.
Before an all-out cold front attacks it’s best to have your home prepared by winterizing it. Winterizing your home is not as difficult or expensive a task as you may think. Your home is one of your largest assets. Protecting it as much as possible from disaster can potentially save you thousands.
Most everything on the following list can be done by anyone with even modest home improvement skills.
Identify The Water Line Shut-Off Valve
This important control device is usually located inside the home in newer construction. Once detected inform other members of your household and mark it with a large colored tag. The tag will come in handy during an emergency. After pinpointing the water valve, check that is not rusted and that it can closed completely. If any issues are discovered the valve will need to be replaced right away.
Keep It Tidy
Make sure gutters are clean and downspouts are facing away from the home. Also trim any tree limbs that are in danger of breaking during a storm or under the weight of snow and ice.
Check Your Chimney
Fireplaces keep us warm, but they can also be a hazard in the winter. Don’t let your ashes pile up. Keep the fireplace and hearth clean. An extension of your fireplace is the often neglected chimney. Wood burning chimneys need to have a free and clear chimney cap.
Regular Maintenance When it’s cold outside, you want your heat to work. Routine maintenance twice a year on your heating and cooling system will detect potential problems early and keep your unit running efficiently.
The US government reports carbon monoxide-related deaths are highest during colder months. Be sure there are working carbon monoxide alarms in centralized locations on every floor of your home. It’s also a good time to check your fire alarms are in good working order as well.
A clean furnace filter will not only reduce allergens in your home, but also maintain the health of your heating system. Depending on the type of filter, you can change it once at the beginning of the season and you’re good to go all winter long!
Keep Your Faucets Warm
Now that summer is over, it’s time to put away the garden hoses and pull out the faucet wraps. Wrapping your outside faucet is an easy, economical way to keep it from freezing when the temperatures drop.
Drain Your Tank
Hot water heaters should be flushed once every six months. This is especially important in the Raleigh, Durham, Wake Forest area because of the large amounts of sediment that collects in the bottom of the tank from the regions hard water. Flushing the hot water heater, extends the life and could potentially keep the bottom of the heater from rusting out due to heavy sediment debris weighing down the bottom of the heater floor. While you’re out there, check the pressure relief valve as well.
Wash and Dry
FEMA cites there are close to 2,900 home dryer fires every year. Cleaning the lint trap in your dryer isn’t enough. You will also need to clean the trap on the outside of your home. This trap is easily clogged, but only takes moments to clean.
Cover your AC Unit
Your AC unit worked faithfully during the summer months. Before it goes into hibernation, clean out the drain pans, empty any excess water, and cover your unit for the winter. If you have window units, either remove them to reduce energy costs, or insulate them if removing the unit from the window is not an option.
There are your ten tips for winterizing your home. Preparation is always the best defense. However, if a catastrophe does strike, your local SERVPRO® of North Raleigh, Wake Forest, and North Durham is always here night or day. Disaster never takes a day off and neither does SERVPRO®.