NORTH ATTLEBOROUGH, Mass. — Winter officially begins December 21st, but winter-like weather is already here.
Contractor Brian Stanek says now is the time to prepare your home for the harsh conditions. Here are his five key steps to winterizing your house.
1. DRAIN OUTSIDE FAUCETS
The first step is the easiest: shut off the water and drain your outside faucets. Stanek said this includes any pipes that run through your garage or basement.
“That way you don’t have to worry about it freezing and the pipe bursting inside your house and flooding the interior,” Stanek said.
2. DIVERT THE OUTSIDE WATER
You want to make sure you direct water away from your house. That can easily be done with plastic attachments on your downspout drain pipes. Stanek said even diverting water four or five feet away from your house can prevent problems.
“The water gets in the ground and freezes and in the spring, it’s going to thaw and for a lot of people that’s why you get basement flooding in the spring is because the water has no place else to go,” Stanek said.
3. CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS
Break out your ladder and clean your gutters, or have a crew come out and do it for you. Stanek says this is the best way to prevent ice dams.
“You end up getting ice dams and the ice will back up into your shingles and it will get into your house and it will create massive damage,” Stanek said.
4. SEAL YOUR WINDOWS
Check all your windows for leaks. If you find separation between window and frame, Stanek said use silicone to seal it because silicone doesn’t shrink in the cold.
“If you have drafty windows, you need to go outside and check the exterior. You can do it from the inside, too but check the siding around the windows and check where the window meets the trim,” he said.
5. CHECK HEATING SYSTEM
Stanek said this step may be the most important: get your furnace, boiler or chimney inspected by a professional to make sure it runs efficiently and safely.
“Those technicians are very busy this time of year, so now is the time to get it on their radar and have them look at your furnace or boiler,” Stanek said.
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