Although Reno boasts some hot, arid weather in the summer, winters are cold, snowy and can dip between 20-30F. In order to avoid headaches and make sure your property is safe from inclement weather, there are some important steps you need to take to winterize.
Planning for the colder months and winterizing your home effectively will save you valuable time and money.
Here are some tips to get your property winter-ready.
Watch Your Water
Before the first hard freeze of the season, be sure to shut down irrigation. That means shutting off your main irrigation line and opening all your drains. You’ll need to disconnect all your exterior garden hoses and drain them well, as well as draining the valves. You may also need to open your valve boxes, open all the drains and let the water empty out. Finally, if you have an automatic sprinkler system, you’ll need to set the timer to the “off” position. Overall, your goal here is to avoid leaving water in any of your exterior water systems to avoid broken hoses and burst pipes. Nothing ruins the winter season like water damage!
Check Your Roof
When it comes to your roof, prevention is key. Regular maintenance year-round means your roof won’t be as vulnerable to winter storms. To make sure your roof is in tip-top condition, hire an experienced roofing contractor to inspect your roof thoroughly. Be sure to ask for their credentials and after the inspection is complete and your roof is certified as sound, get it in writing. Once you’ve had your roof vetted, maintain it by removing any debris that gets caught. Monitor your roof carefully for missing or curled shingles as well as any sagging or lopsided areas. Get repairs done right away; even minor roof damage can lead to big repair bills after winter weather pummels your roof.
Maintain Your Furnace
Most homes are kept toasty thanks to a furnace heating system. Change your air filter regularly to avoid buildup that can lower heating efficiency. Clean vents will improve air quality. It pays to book an HVAC appointment with your heating specialist. Autumn is the best time to get this done, so any issues can be fixed before the winter hits. Heating professionals will inspect your blower and flame sensor and identify anything that could be causing heat loss or energy waste.
Prepare Your Fireplace, Chimney and Wood Stove
Crackling fires are a nice way to stay warm when the weather outside is frightful. However, you need to do a few things to make sure your gas, wood or electric fireplace is ready for winter. When it comes to safety and energy efficiency, you can’t beat an annual inspection. It will make sure everything is up to code and working properly. Since wood stoves and fireplaces aren’t used in the warmer months, organic material (ash, lint, leaves, etc.) tend to collect in them. This debris can stand in the way of efficient heating or even, in a worst-case scenario, become hazardous.
Insulate Your Pipes
Any exposed pipes in your garage, basement or exterior walls need to be insulated to avoid pipes freezing. Frozen pipes will expand and burst, causing serious water damage. Insulating exterior pipes will also improve energy efficiency. When in doubt, call a plumbing professional to take a look at your pipes.
Snuff Out Sources of Heat Loss
There are many potential sources of heat loss in your home. Do you have a flapping dog door? Seal that carefully to avoid drafts. Run your hand along all your windows. If you detect a draft, cover your windows with weatherproof plastic to seal leaks and retain heat. If you are due for upgrading your windows, check with a home contractor to have your windows professionally repaired, fortified or replaced. Double-paned or soundproof windows are the most effective at keeping out the chill and keeping in the heat.
If your doors are drafty, use draft-stoppers under your doors. Finally, take a stroll around your attic (or pop your head in). A drafty, improperly-insulated attic is one of the main sources of heat loss in a home.
Thanks to these tips, you can ensure your home will be winter-ready! Winterizing your home in preparation for cold and snowy Reno winters is a smart way to save time, money and headaches.
Need help winterizing your plumbing and pipes before the cold hits? Johnson Plumbing can help. From residential plumbing to commercial systems, we do it all! Give us a shout and we’ll figure out how we can put our expertise and experience to work for you.