As the cold weather approaches, it makes good sense to prepare for potential problems rather than dealing with actual problems in the dead of winter. Especially with the holidays around the corner, the last thing you want to manage is a winter emergency. As a property management Westminster company, we’ve dealt with enough winters to have preparation down to a science. In this article we give you our tips to help with your winter preparation.
Prevent Burst Pipes
Of the most dire winter problems, burst pipes probably rank the highest. Cold weather and a flooded property are not a very good mix. Luckily, completing a few simple tasks can prevent water from freezing in your pipes and causing a flood. If you have an outdoor garden hose, make sure to detach it, store it away and turn off the water source to the outdoor tap. Also check where your water pipes run, especially in the basement. If they run along walls that face the outdoors it would be in your best interest to insulate them. You can buy simple insulating foam cuffs from any hardware store. And if you go on vacation, don’t turn your heating off completely. Make sure to keep your thermostat above 55 Fahrenheit.
Keep Your House Warm
You don’t want to spend more on keeping your house warm than absolutely necessary. A few preventative maintenance procedures will keep your house warm without having your energy bill rocket through the roof. If you have window mounted air conditioners, remove them until you need them again next summer. If you have a working fireplace make sure to inspect the chimney for blockages. If your fireplace isn’t used, make sure the damper is closed and consider investing in an insulation balloon or cloth stopper to prevent cold air from entering. Reverse the rotation on any ceiling fans to clockwise to force warm air downwards. If you have drafts coming through your windows, consider adding plastic film insulation or buying heavy duty curtains.
Outdoor Prep Work
If you have trees on your property, you’ll want to lop off any branches that might pose a hazard to your house or other structures should they come crashing down. Snow can add a lot of weight to tree branches and cause them to break. If you have baby trees or smaller shrubs, you might want to consider wrapping them in burlap and adding mulch around the base to keep them alive during extreme cold. And if it starts snowing, make sure to get out there and shovel it off as soon as possible. The longer you leave snow on your sidewalks and driveway, the harder it is to shovel it off. If you allow a few layers to gather you might end up with hard packed snow that will be unremovable for the entire winter. For property management Westminster teams this could result in fines from the municipality.