If you live in a cold, snowy climate, winterizing your house is a must. You know you need to do it before the snow starts to fall, so autumn is the perfect time to get things in shape to keep your house safe and in good working order through the cold months. If you're not already working on it, you should be. There are the basic preparation techniques everyone knows about, such as draining your pool, caulking any drafty areas, and making sure your basement is flood-proof. There are some less-known winterizing activities that you may be forgetting. These are things that may not even register until something goes wrong and you realize you should have taken care of it months ago. Here are three ways you should be getting your house ready for winter that you might not have considered.
1. Seal Any Cracks in Sliding Glass Door Set-Ups
Make sure your sliding glass doors are solid. Any part of the doors or frame that are slightly off kilter can do damage to your house. Cracks in the glass or frame, or gaps due to an uneven setting of the doors in the frame can cause a lot of warm air to escape your home and let cold air in, raising your electric bills. You may have to replace the doors if they are very old. If you do, buy insulating glass for maximum energy efficiency.
In worst case scenarios, glass doors can shatter from extreme freezing temperatures. This happens if the glass freezes and then heats up again rapidly in direct sun exposure during the day. Prevent this if your glass doors are in direct sunlight by putting up curtains on the outside of the doors, or applying a special shatter-proof coating.
2. Cut Back or Remove Any Large, Damaged Trees That Are Close to the House
Do you have any large, brittle, mostly dead trees near your house? These trees could become hazardous if there is a large snow storm or blizzard. A large amount of snow settling into the branches of a brittle tree can spell disaster.
Aging trees or ones that have been damaged by lightning aren't as strong as they used to be. A lot of snow resting in them could cause large branches to break off and fall on your house. According to the New York Times, blizzards can fell trees, either through wind or snow.
Prevent potential housing disasters that could force you out of your home for months while repairs are made, or injure the people inside, by getting a tree removal service out to your house to get rid of the tree (or trees) before the snow starts to fall.
While it's not necessary for safety reasons, you may also want to get stump removal of the tree done for aesthetic or safety reasons (you don't want to trip over the stump when it's covered in snow!).
3. Get Your Driveway Ready for the Snow
Your driveway is obviously something you'll have to deal with during snowy weather. Yet, it's so easy to forget about it until the actual first snow falls. If you've been shoveling long driveways day after day each winter, you can prepare for an easier time this year by getting a snow blower now, before their prices go up (which they always do once it's already snowing).
Pull up any weeds near the driveway and prune any overgrown shrubbery. This will make it easier to back your car in and out of it, and you will avoid accidentally scratching your car on branches that are sticking out that you can't see because they are covered in snow.
If you really want to have an easy winter, install a heated driveway now. These driveways use heating elements underneath the pavement to allow you to melt the snow from inside the house with the flip of a switch. Turn the driveway on when you get up in the morning, and the snow should be gone by the time you're ready to leave.
Winter doesn't have to be a difficult season to get through if you live in a cold climate. All you have to do is adequately prepare your house for it ahead of time. Click here for more info and use these tips in addition to your regular annual winter preparation, and you will sail through the season with ease.