With sparkling ice and fluffy snow adding to the holiday excitement, let’s not forget the falling tree branches, drafts, ice dams, and HVAC issues that could cause serious headaches to homeowners. To avoid wasting your holiday season in repairing home disasters, why not take a preventative approach and conduct a winter home maintenance?
This will not only help you prevent frozen pipes from occurring or any other winter-related woes, you’ll also be able to inspect your property for potential problems and fix them right away so you can enjoy the winter season.
All this requires is homeowners following some useful tips.
Install Attic Insulation
Adding attic insulation can help reduce heat loss. At least every home should have a minimum of R-22 and R-49 insulation. Before finalizing, speak with your local building department or check online to learn about the level allowed in your area.
Do Not Ignore The Plumbing
When the temperature drops down to zero or lower, it can be extremely damaging to the plumbing system of your home. Prepare the pipes before the weather becomes freezing. If you’re planning to spend your winter vacations away from home, you should take extra precautionary measures before leaving.
In addition to shutting the water valves, check for water leaks so you can get the issue fixed immediately. If you’re uncertain how to do it, make sure to contact a professional, like Plumbing Fix and they’ll perform a thorough inspection of the state of your pipes.
Here are some additional tips:
- To protect the pipes from freezing, use UL-listed heat tapes. This is especially important for pipes that are fixed in unheated areas such as attics, crawl spaces, and garages.
- For plastic water pipes, use thermostatically-controlled heat tape.
Keep Your Heating Systems In Check
The last thing you want is your heating system to fall apart during winter. You can avoid this issue by asking an HVAC contractor to inspect it inside and out. Having a maintenance check will identify potential problems and also prolong the life of your HVAC system.
When the winter strikes:
- Get the fuel tanks filled and keep a constant check on the levels throughout the season.
- Maintain your heating no lower than 55° to keep the water piping inside the walls safe. Also, keep the doors of unoccupied rooms open so the heating remains even throughout the house.
Seal The Air Leaks In The Basement
Using the caulking method to stop leaks through rim joist and sill plate is an effective idea. When these are poorly insulated, they become leaky. This is a clear indication of an unfinished basement.
Use acrylic latex or silicone to seal the plate. If you have fiberglass insulation, pull that out first. Caulk between the edges as well as on the top of the foundation wall. To seal the leakage, use a foamy spray in areas where you can see any gaps.
The fiberglass insulation can also be stuffed in the hollow-block foundations to fill up the holes. The expanding foam can be used on top of that to securely seal the area.
For the rim joists, caulk the expanding foam on the top and bottom and use it to fill the holes for gas, water, and electric lines. Do not leave holes that are larger than 1/4-inch. Though these holes may look smaller, they can also cause leakage. Caulk on all the four sides of the foam insulation to ensure they have been sealed properly.