The Cold Truth: Why it’s Important to Winterize Your Home

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Prepare your property, winterize your residence.

The Cold Truth: Why it’s Important to Winterize Your Home

Most of us in Colorado love winter, but with it brings cold weather, snow, and ice that can wreak havoc on a home. From heat retention and preventing water damage, to retaining maximum resale value of your home, winterizing your residence, especially in Colorado, has never been more important.

If an agreement of sale has been made between a Buyer and Seller during a period where winterization is an issue, be sure to discuss the project at the beginning of the sale or purchase process. Find out if the home has been winterized or will be shortly. If de-winterization will need to be done to permit a complete inspection, address the procedure (and who pays for what), to help avoid any type of dispute.

To understand the ‘must-do’s’ of home winterization, start with the basics. As temperatures begin to drop, take the following measures to protect yourself and your home as winter sets in on Colorado.

The Right Equipment
It’s hard to predict when the first “real” snowfall of the year will come, so be sure to have your ‘ducks-in-a-row’, or, ‘snow-shovels-in-order’, to be prepared for snow removal. Toss old equipment and stock up on ice melt. Ensure your snow-blower is tuned, or hire someone to do it for you. Most importantly, make sure to store your snow-removal tools in a convenient location to be able to quickly and efficiently clear snow, preventing any possible damage to your roof.

Keeping the Cold Where It Belongs – Window Treatments
Avoid shivering when you receive your winter heating bills. According to the Department of Energy’s website, Energy.gov, windows, old or new, can account for as much as 30 percent of your home’s heating loss. In order to prevent the cost of heating from flying right out the door (or window), be sure to caulk and/or install weather-stripping around all window and door frames to retain heat.

Gut the Gutters
To prevent costly repairs and long-term damage, clean and clear your gutters before winter hits. Clogged gutters can lead to serious water and ice problems during winter, so be sure to remove any leaves and other debris that have accumulated in your gutters. Pro tip: spray the downspout of your gutters to ensure melting snow and ice from your roof drains easily.

Know Your Plumbing
The number one tip to avoid frozen plumbing is to know where the water main is located- and how to shut it off. Where there’s water, there’s the potential for ice. And where there’s ice, there’s potential damage. If something happens it will be imperative to shut the water off quickly. Drain all garden hoses and insulated exposed pipes, and if possible, shut off the water supply to outside spouts.

Furnace
The coldest time of year calls for a furnace inspection. It’s worth having a professional inspect the furnace, clean your ducts and make any necessary fixes to avoid being left in the cold when your home furnace stops working.

Fireplace
One of the best things about winter is warming up by a cozy fire. In order to prevent any danger of chimney fires, be sure to have the chimney cleaned professionally, the damper inspected, and the brick mortar examined for necessary repairs.

Living in Colorado, the seasonal weather change can be especially hard on your home. To prepare your property and avoid problems while the weather is cold, follow these pre-winter maintenance steps to keep the cold outside where it belongs.

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