It took a while for the snow to arrive but winter is officially here, as evidenced by this recent cold snap that encompassed the Northeast for the past week. As you know, the weather in the Boston area can be very unpredictable, so you always want to be prepared.
Here are 10 tips for weatherproofing your house for the remainder of the winter:
- Protect Your Pipes
Burst pipes can cause thousands of dollars in damage, but luckily, they are easily preventable. Insulate exposed piping and fill cracks and holes in your walls. When you are out of the house, don’t turn the heat down too much, as this also prevents pipes from freezing. If you do run into any problems, call a plumber as soon as possible.
- Turn Off Your Exterior Faucets
Disconnect all garden hoses and drain the remaining water in your exterior faucets. Any water left in the pipes can freeze and cause those pipes to burst.
- Clean your Gutters
Gutters drain water and snow away from your house. When they are clogged, the water, unable to drain anywhere, can back up against the house and cause damage to roofing, siding, and can even create ice dams. You can clean out the gutters yourself or hire a professional to do the work.
- Check Your Roof
Search for any damaged or missing shingles that may leak during winter storms. You may also want to check for breaks in the seals around vent stacks and chimneys.
- Buy a Roof Rake
In Massachusetts, especially north of Boston, you can always expect a lot of snow during the winter. It is a good idea to invest in a roof rake. Snow buildup on your roof can, in serious cases, cause collapse. A roof rake can be used to clear the snow off your roof and protect your home from serious damage.
- Invest in Weather Stripping
Weather stripping is an excellent way to keep the cold air out of your house and keep the warm air in. Check windows, doors, vents, mailslots, and plumbing areas for drafts and leaks.
- Install Insulated Blinds
Insulated blinds can help keep your house comfortable all year long. In the winter, they keep your rooms from getting too cold and in the summer they keep your rooms from getting too hot.
- Make Sure Your Pets are Prepared
It is important to make sure your furry friend is well prepared for the cold weather. Your pet should not be allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised in the winter. Take your dog on a short walk and consider buying them a jacket. Buy pet safe ice melt; regular ice melt can irritate and burn animals paw pads.
- Stock Up on the Basics
Blizzards are common in Boston and north of Boston. You don’t want to be caught up in a pre-blizzard grocery store frenzy. Make sure you have plenty of bottled water, non-perishable food, flashlights, batteries, blankets, and deicing sand. And don’t forget your shovel!
- Going Out of Town?
If you are heading out of town for the season or even just a weekend, ask a neighbor or friend to come check your house for leaks and damage. There’s nothing worse than coming back from vacation to find your house underwater.