Owning a home in New England can be extremely costly in the winter months. Heating costs can be high and winter storms can cause damage to your home that you are not expecting. Winter is unpredictable but there are things that you can do to protect your home from a winter in New England.
1. Care for you roof – Fall leaves can collect in gutters and on your roof. Take time in the fall to clean gutters and remove any leaves from the rooftop. At this time check your roof for any holes or existing damage. Patching holes in the fall can prevent them from getting worse and allowing heat to escape during the winter months.
2. Trim trees near your home – Severe storms and heavy snow can take a toll on our trees. If you have a tree that has branches that hang over your home, consider trimming them back in advance of winter. This will help prevent branches from falling onto your roof and causing damage.
3. Clean your chimney or flue – If you use an alternate heat source in the winter such as a wood stove or fireplace it is imperative that you have your chimney cleaned and inspected each year. In an article, Prepare Your Home for Winter Weather by the CDC, they also recommend that you also test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors monthly and replace the batteries twice a year.
4. Insulate your home – Taking time to insulate your home can save you a lot of money in heating costs. Add weather stripping insulation to doors and windows and take the time to insulate your attic and walls. If you have water pipes that run along exterior walls they are more susceptible to freezing. Taking the time to insulate these pipes will make them less likely to freeze and save you from a really costly fix.
5. Have snow removal equipment serviced – Before the first snowfall you want to have your snow blowers and other snow removal equipment serviced to make sure it’s in good working order. If you pay for snow removal make sure you contact your service provider and sign up for winter snow removal.
6. Be prepared for an emergency – Before winter in New England even begins make sure that you have a plan in place in the event of a weather emergency. Keep a close eye on weather reports so that you know when a storm is coming and make sure you have emergency supplies on hand such as fresh water, flash lights, batteries and no perishable food items.
Being a home owner in New England means you have to prepare for severe weather that can damage your home. Major house damage can be costly and cause an insurance nightmare. The more you can do to prevent the headache of winter storm damage the better off you’ll be! For more Winter preparation ideas visit the CDC website!
Not a homeowner yet? These tips still apply to you. Damage to your dwelling can also cause damage to your belongings or in the worst case, displace you. If you see potential issues where you live alert your landlord before winter arrives. Ready to take on the responsibilities of being a homeowner in the winter? Find out how to be a savvy first time home buyer!