A home is one of the most significant investments you’ll make in your entire life, and it’s crucial that you protect it during the winter. If you have built or purchased a new home in the last year, it may be difficult to know where to start. Here are a few tips to get you started.
1. Drain the Water from Outdoor Hoses and Faucets
Always drain the water from any outdoor hoses and faucets. Letting these freeze could cause the faucets to burst, which could cause damage to your new home.
If you have an in-ground irrigation system, those need to be drained and shut off as well. It’s generally a good idea to hire a professional to do this for you.
2. Keep the Heat Working Efficiently
Because of the risk of frozen pipes, which can burst and cause severe damage, always keep your thermostat running during the winter, even if the thermostat is set at 55 degrees. If your new home has an unfinished basement, make sure that any exposed pipes are insulated to prevent freezing. During severe cold spells, consider opening your cabinets to keep warm air circulating around your pipes and run a slow drip of water to avoid faucets from freezing.
It’s important to keep in mind that HVAC service call pricing increases in the winter, so you need to take proactive steps to make sure your furnace is working correctly. As a general rule, run the heat two hours before you need it to be warm. Make sure your furniture isn’t blocking any heating vents; this could prevent your home from warming up.
3. Check Your Sump Pump
When it comes to protecting your new home in the winter, your sump pump is doing a lot of the work. With all of the rain and snow during winter, a malfunctioning sump pump can lead to a destroyed basement and severe damage to your home. To prevent your sump pump from freezing in the winter, check to make sure that the pipe at the end is exposed. Otherwise, it could be frozen shut.
Every few months, and especially in winter, it’s smart to test your sump pump by slowly pouring water into the sump pump. If it turns on, you’ll know it’s working.
4. Check Gutters and Extensions
Make sure your gutters are doing their job this winter. You might even want to add extensions to your downspouts. Your gutters and extensions should be keeping water three to four feet away from the foundation of your home.
In addition to making sure your gutters are pointing away from your home, make sure that they are clear. Clogged gutters are more likely to freeze.
5. Use a Safe De-Icing Agent on Outdoor Concrete
You might be accustomed to using salt as a de-icing agent on concrete. If your home is two years old or newer, use sand or another safe de-icing agent on your concrete or asphalt. Salt, especially in excess, can cause damage to your concrete.
Protect Your New Home This Winter
It’s important to protect and maintain your home throughout the year, especially during the colder winter months. If you have purchased or built a new home in the last year, check these items to ensure the safety of your family and home.