WinterMaintenanceTips large

Preparing your home for winter is an important annual ritual for homeowners. For instance, did you know that adding insulation in your attic before winter arrives can help prevent ice dams this winter? And do not forget that tuning up your heating system now can help prevent more costly emergency repairs at the height of a storm, when it can be difficult to find supplies and licensed contractors. The following winter maintenance tips can help you prepare your home to withstand another cold season.

Download the Winter Home Maintenance Checklist >

Your Heating System

Before you give your heating system a workout this winter, take the time for preventive maintenance. It may help extend the life of your system and identify potential problems

Before winter:

  • Have your furnace or boiler checked and serviced by a licensed contractor at least once a year, preferably before the heating season begins.
  • Clean or replace the furnace filter on forced hot air systems.
  • Have your chimney checked and serviced by a licensed contractor at least once a year. Pay particular attention to having creosote buildup removed from chimneys servicing woodstoves and fireplaces.

During winter:

  • Have your fuel tanks filled and keep an eye on levels throughout the winter.
  • Set your heat no lower than 55 degrees as the temperature inside the walls where water piping is located is colder than the living spaces; open doors to unoccupied rooms to keep an even temperature throughout the house.
  • Maintain your wood-burning or pellet stoves according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Your Insulation

Is your insulation prepared to protect you from the cold? As an important line of defense from winter’s gusty winds and freezing temperatures, it is worth taking time to inspect and upgrade insulation and weather stripping before the season starts.

  • Add extra insulation in the attic to help guard against ice dams. If too much heat escapes into the attic, it can warm the ice and snow on the roof. When it refreezes, it can cause an ice dam, which can lead to water damage inside your home or possibly even a roof collapse.
  • Add weather stripping around doors and caulk windows to guard against drafts and heat loss.
  • Remove screens from windows and install storm windows, if appropriate.

Your Utilities

Freezing temperatures can be especially damaging to your home’s water piping. Make sure your pipes are adequately prepared to withstand a cold snap and remember to take extra precautions if you are going to be leaving your home, including shutting off your water.

  • Check for water leaks and fix problems immediately; wrap water piping in UL-Listed heat tape and insulate if it is exposed in unheated areas such as garages, crawl spaces or attics. Use only thermostatically-controlled heat tape if your water piping is plastic, and follow the manufacturer's installation instructions.
  • Learn how to shut off your water and know where your pipes are located in case they do freeze; you may be able to prevent water damage.

Your Winter Safety Measures

As you prepare for winter, following are some further safety measures that are especially important during the cold season.

  • Trim trees and remove dead branches so they do not damage your home or injure someone if they fall because of ice, snow or wind.
  • Keep gutters clear of leaves, sticks and other debris to help ensure melting snow can drain properly. Make sure downspouts direct water away from the foundation.
  • Repair steps and handrails to make them safer in the ice and snow.
  • Check smoke detectors, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and replace batteries to ensure they are operating properly.

Your Key Supplies and Equipment

The first storm of the year can come sooner than you think. Stock up early and get key equipment, like snow blowers and generators, in good working condition long before you need them, so you can be prepared to enjoy what the season has to offer.

  • Make sure you have snow shovels and a roof rake on hand. Stock your ice melting compound to melt ice on walkways.
  • Have your snow blower and generator serviced and any necessary repairs made.
  • Keep fuel for snow blowers and generators in approved safety containers and away from heat or flame-producing devices. Do not store fuel in your basement.
Insurance ... simple and done!

6 Steps for Storm Preparedness on Cape Cod

 

1. Know your Risk.

Wind Storms, Hurricanes, Blizzards and Flooding are our most immediate concerns on Cape Cod. It's always best to have your own Emergency Preparedness Plan. You can protect your local emergency management organization to determine if there are already community-wide preparedness materials you can have, including evacuation routes, shelters and communication systems.
 

2. Assemble or Update your Emergency Kit.

Stock up on basic supplies you might need if you had to evacuate your home quickly. Items may include food, water, first aid supplies, medication, batteries, blankets and pet supplies. Put these items in a lightweight, waterproof container an dplace it somehere that can be easily accessed in an emegrency.
 

3. Create a Communication Plan.

Your family might not be together when disaster strikes. Have a discussion with your kids about emergency preparedness, including where you can meet and how everyone can get in contact if the unexpected happens.
 

4. Practice your Plan.

Mock scenarios with your family and even your entire community can help everyone understand how to prepare for, react to and recover from a disaster with confidence. That way, if an emergency were to strike, each member would know exactly which tasks they are responsible for to keep themselves and others safe. 
 

5. Prepare your Home.

You can reduce the risk of injury to yourself and damage to your home by preparing your property for disaster. For example. in the case of a hurricane, it is recommended to board all windows and doors with hurricane shutters, and turn refrigerators and freezers to the coldest setting in order to preserve food, whereas a blizzard and freezing temps require salting the driveway and letting cold water drip from the faucet to prevent frozen pipes.

 

6. Document and Insure your property.

Under certain circumstances, damage to your home may not be covered under a basic homeowner's insurance policy. Talk to Bryden and Sullivan insurance agents to determine if you need any additional coverage for the risks your area is particularly susceptible to, such as tornadoes, wildfires, hurricanes and more.

   



Hyannis Office
88 Falmouth Road Rt 28
Hyannis, MA 02601
508-775-6060
FAX 508-790-1414
Directions

 


Hours  Monday - Friday
9 am -  4:30 pm

Bryden and Sullivan operates solely within the State of Massachusetts
Please note that coverage cannot be issued, started, cancelled, reinstated or changed via email
without written confirmation from our Agency.
Privacy Policy
SiteLock

Dennis Office
485 Route 134, PO Box 1497
So. Dennis MA 02660
508-398-6060
FAX 508-394-2267
Directions