Winter is coming, and after a long hot summer, it’s essential to start looking for problems in a home before it’s too late. Ever-changing weather patterns in Kansas City and the rest of the Midwest can be very hard on both, homes and apartments.
Winter Weather in Kansas City
Before the cold hits, you need to make sure your home and your property are well prepared for the harsh winter weather.
It is common to see the first freeze sometime in November. This means September/October is the time to repair all those small things around the house because as the temperature drops those small things can become big problems. If you skip out on any of your homes needed repairs you could be looking at a much bigger, more expensive, problem when the temperature drops.
5 Things to Add to Your Winter Maintenance Checklist
To make sure your property is ready for the winter, here are five things you must check.
1. Protect Indoor Pipes
The last thing you want to deal with is a busted pipe! When a pipe bursts, it floods your home ruining everything in its path. Not only are you looking at damaged furniture and carpets, but you could be looking at drywall repair as well. Not only will you have the massive headache of replacing the pipe and subsequent damages to the rest of your home, but it will cost you!
Solution: An easy solution for this problem is to install pipe insulation around all copper or PVC water pipes. Insulation can cost as little as 50 cents per linear foot, and you can put it under sinks, in attics and crawl spaces, and on pipes along exterior walls.
For an extra sense of security or if your pipes are not insulated, in extremely low temperatures let your faucets drip throughout your home to avoid the still water freezing your pipes.
2. Service your Furnace and Chimney
Nothing is quite as cozy as curling up next to a fire, but some of the biggest causes of home fires are due to fireplaces, chimneys, and heating equipment not being properly maintained. Have a professional come out and take a look at the heating utilities in your home before the cold hits. You would regret to get to mid-winter, and something terrible happens to your property, such as losing power or even worse, a gas leak or a fire.
The protection of your home is crucial and this is just another maintenance check to ensure you and your home are protected.
3. Check and Prepare Windows
Your windows are vital to keeping the warm air in and keeping your electric bills down. Install glass storm windows, creating an insulating layer of air between your windows and the cold outside air. These also provide an added layer of protection against driving rain and snow during a heavy storm.
Your windows are one of the main entry and exit points of your home for pests as well as energy. By checking and preparing your windows it will protect your family from unwanted guests and big hits to your pocketbook.
4. Inspect Tree Limbs
Trees can cause tremendous damage to your property if left untrimmed, leading to overgrown branches snapping and destroying roofs, windows, and patios. A dead branch covered in snow can easily snap, endangering people below and potentially causing thousands of dollars worth of damage if striking a roof, porch, or siding.
It’s recommended to hire a trained tree trimmer to come out and prune your trees, but if you are trained with the proper equipment you can do it yourself. This will protect your home from all the damages that can come with falling tree limbs.
5. Secure Outdoor Water Sources
When preparing for a freeze, you need to shut off external water sources and release the trapped water. Disconnect your hose for exterior fixtures and cover them with an insulated hose bib cover. Simply shutting off the spigot itself is not sufficient, as trapped water inside the pipe can freeze and cause it to burst.
This is something you can handle yourself and will ensure the safety of your home. Any of your local hardware stores will have the equipment needed to follow through with the task.
Easy DIY Maintenance
There are some small things that homeowners can do to ensure additional safety during winter.
- Replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Test your sump pump
- Reverse ceiling fans
- Flush hot water tank
- Consider a generator, ready shovels, and stock up on salt
If You Need Help Contact: Maintenance KC
The longer you wait, the more stressed you will be as the weather begins to change. Give yourself peace of mind and “winterize” your home to avoid future damages. Your home is supposed to be your safe place, and you want to be best prepared for the elements as you can be. Take control and know your home is protected by following the simple maintenance tips listed above, and if you need extra help, call Maintenance KC.