As the seasons change, many on LBI are getting ready to head further south and avoid the cold chill of winter. But just because you’re going south, doesn’t mean your house is! And with winter coming it is important that your home is ready for it, whether you’re here or not! The cold can do a lot of damage to a home, from freezing standing water and bursting a pipe, to warping your beautiful hardwood floors, the cold is a vicious thing. But there are a few things that you can do to keep Jack Frost from nipping at your door while you’re away, and this will ensure a happy home to come back to in the spring and summer.
Make sure the house is thoroughly cleaned. By emptying the fridge and cleaning it out, and even turning it off, you’re avoiding mildew, and possible critter visitors. Also make sure that your home is treated for pests before you leave, and if you have a fireplace, make sure to close the flue! This will ensure that you don’t acquire any new tenants, such as squirrels, over the winter months.
Keep the heat on. Many people turn their heat off before leaving for the winter, but this allows the cold to seep into your home. This can damage the sheet rock, hardwood floors, paint, and any stonework in your home. These surfaces absorb the moisture that is naturally in your home from just day to day living, and when kept at a regulated temperature above freezing, this is not an issue. However, once the moisture in these surfaces freezes from the cold, it causes the water to “bloom”, meaning that the water freezes and expands, which warps your floors or chips your paint. We recommend that homes be kept at 50 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the winter to prevent damage.
Winterize the pipes. By winterizing the pipes, we mean make sure that there is no excess water in them. If there is standing water left in the pipes, it can freeze and this can cause the pipe to burst. This is often a costly fix, and can lead to multiple other problems, such as mold. Every home that we build has drains installed on the lower level (depending on the house design) which allows for drainage of both hot and cold water, which will help avoid a rupture if this scenario presents itself this winter.
Clean up the outside. We know that landscaping is probably the last thing you’re thinking about when getting ready to head south, but by taking care of dead trees or larger overhanging tree limbs and putting away lawn ornaments or anything else that could be destroyed during a winter storm, you will be saving yourself a lot of time and hassle come the next summer. Also these large trees and tree limbs become a hazard to your home in the winter months, as many of them snap under the weight of snow and ice. You should also have your room inspected to make sure that it is ready to handle the snow and ice of the coming winter months.
Winter is a beautiful time of year, but it comes with its own challenges for home owners, so make sure that you take the time and winterize! If you have any questions about winterizing your home, or about building a new home on LBI contact us today for details!