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Winterizing Your Home

October 27, 2022

Cooler temperatures are creeping up on us which means it is time to start thinking about how to best protect your home from winter weather. Taylor Kennedy, with our Ideal Homes & Neighborhoods Customer Care Team, has some great tips on how to prepare for whatever mother nature has in store for us.

  1. Taylor, we always hear the weathermen saying to “drip your faucets” so the pipes don’t freeze. What other things should homeowners do to prevent plumbing problems?
    • One of the main things homeowners definitely need to make sure they are flushing their toilets. Especially if your home has a toilet that is on an exterior wall. Those are the ones that need to be running more often, probably once every two hours. Make sure that the water is actually flowing through and if we have snow on the ground or freezing temperatures.
  2. What external things should we be looking for on the outside of our homes to prevent significant damage due to snow or ice? (roof, outside faucets, windows, gutters, doors, the yard)
    • Homeowners should walk around the exterior of the home and make sure there are no hoses attached to the exterior faucets. Be sure to purchase the domes to cover the faucets to prevent them from bursting, because this is not a warrantable item. You can purchase them at Wal-Mart, Amazon, and Target for cheap. Also, if your home has an irrigation system, it is highly recommended that you get it winterized. If you are not familiar with how to do it yourself, you can hire a third party (or a subcontractor) before we start seeing freezing temperatures
  3. Inside the homes, should we be worried about if we have a fireplace?
    • If you have a fireplace, homeowners should check the pilot light to make sure it is lit. If it is not, and you lose power, you cannot use your fireplace. If it is lit, then you just flip the switch and the fireplace can heat the home. If you must light the pilot light yourself, you remove the tray, see the underbelly of the fireplace, and open your quick start guide we provide for homeowners and it will walk you through step-by-step.
  4. How often should homeowners be having their furnaces inspected? 
    • Homeowners should have their entire HVAC system serviced twice a year, but specifically in the fall when they will definitely need to double-check and make sure there is no gas leaking.
  5. Is there any specific equipment or tools one should have in case of a storm? (shovels, generator, etc.)
    • Taylor recommends all homeowners have a shovel or a snow blower to remove snow off the driveway. Do not use deicers or salt for the driveways once they freeze, over time that will cause the concrete to erode. Sand and kitty litter (non-colored) are great substitutes for deicing sidewalks and driveways. It would also be a great idea to have a generator if your home already had a pad that is specific for a generator.