Winter is approaching; Is your home ready?

Jim Bouton, with BELFOR, offered tips for home winterization

With fall just beginning, the time is coming in which homeowners need to start preparing for winter.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – With fall just beginning, the time is coming in which homeowners need to start preparing for winter.

Jim Bouton, with BELFOR, offered several tips that homeowners can do to winterize their homes.

“This time of year is very important, because as you know in Ohio, the weather can change drastically. So this is the time you want to make sure that you winterize your house; you seal up your house and everything is tight and secure before that cold weather actually hits,” Bouton said.

There are a few things that homeowners should do now to prepare for the winter weather. The first area of your home to check would be the pipes to make sure they don’t burst.

“It’s very important to at least wrap those pipes a couple of feet inside the house because sometimes we get a real deep freeze in the wintertime,” Bouton said. “Those pipes can actually get very cold and freeze a little bit into the house.”

Next, Bouton recommends checking the windows to make sure they will all shut properly.

“There’s a lot of debris that can fall into the window sills so make sure you pull those windows up, you clear out all that debris so that when you lock them down for the wintertime, it creates a good, tight seal,” he said.

Bouton said it’s also important to check exterior water spigots to make sure the hose is removed, all of the water is out and the spigots are capped with an external cap.

These tips are also recommended to winterize your home:

  • Avoid frozen pipes:
  1. Disconnect all outdoor hoses and turn off water to exterior faucets and sprinkler systems.
  2. Keep heat 55ºF or higher (even when you are out of town).
  3. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
  • Prevent ice dams:
  1. Clean clogged gutters by removing leaves and other debris – the faster water can drain, the less likely it is to melt and refreeze on your roof.
  2. Immediately after a snow storm, use a roof rake or push a broom to remove all snow and ice to prevent ice buildup and icicles.
  3. Remove or relocate heat sources that are installed in open attic areas directly under the roof.
  • Stop mold and mildew:
  1. Use weather-stripping seals to prevent moisture from getting in around windows and doors.
  2. Control indoor humidity using a dehumidifier to lower moisture and prevent mold growth.
  3. Insulate pipes inside and out to ensure they will not crack or burst.

It’s also important to make sure your water is turned off when leaving to go on vacation and to clean out the windows to make sure there is a tight seal and no water can get in.

With these simple tasks, you can make sure that your home is prepared for this winter. Remember that preparation now could save you from a call to the clean-up expert later.