It's that time of year again, time to start preparing for winter weather. The change in season can be very exciting, but can also bring about some issues in the home if you don't plan ahead! Here are a few tips on how to get ahead.
Stock up on ice melt and invest in a snow shovel. Winter seasons on the PNW can be unpredictable, so it’s always best to ensure that you’re prepared for the potential ice and snow that we saw last year! Ice melt and snow shovels sell out quickly when the snow has already arrived, which could leave you in a bind.
Check all furnaces: make sure you’ve changed your filters, the furnace is clean and in working order. For electric heaters, make sure that all are functioning.
Keep an eye out for blocked gutters. If it is raining and there is no water coming out of the gutter drain, there is likely a clog in the gutters. If you cannot unclog the gutter yourself, it may be time to hire a gutter cleaner.
Make sure to regularly clean out your leaf traps (if applicable) on your gutters. This is a really easy way to ensure that your gutters don’t overflow in the rainy season.
Walk the exterior of your property and make sure that any vents to the exterior are closed or insulated. Make sure to also disconnect exterior hoses, insulating the faucets with newspaper, foam covers or hose bibs.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors by pressing the “test” button to make sure they are in working order.
Over the winter, be sure to keep your heat on to a minimum of 55 degrees to prevent pipes from freezing. If temperatures drop below freezing, keep kitchen and bathroom cabinets open.
Keep the air inside circulating (keep closet doors open as necessary, etc.), avoiding putting things against exterior walls to prevent mold.
We recommend that in the wet PNW winters, you wipe down window sills regularly to prevent potential moisture buildup.
If you’re planning to be gone for an extended period of time, be sure to tell your landlord or someone you know who can look after the house in your absence, and prepare your home for cold weather situations.