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Though the polar vortex may have moved through, we’re still in the midst of winter. While much of a homeowner’s preparation for winter will be done in the fall, there are still many things they’ll need to keep in mind throughout the season. Here are a few of the most important areas Chicago homeowners should focus on this winter:
Though it’s easy to forget to check your roof, it’s an important thing for homeowners to do all winter. With snow accumulating, melting, and freezing, numerous problems can arise that can cause real damage to your roof. How you handle this will depend on your home and your physical abilities. If you’re unsure of how to properly care for your roof, there are many local companies that can help you keep it safe. A snow rake is a great option for many homeowners to remove snow and prevent ice dams. Using salt on certain areas of ice can also be effective in creating channels for it to drain off the roof as it melts. With the weather fluctuating throughout the season, this is a regular part of winter home maintenance.
This is something that many homeowners will do in the fall, but if you haven’t done it yet, it’s a good strategy to protect against significant potential damage. It’s smart to wrap any exposed pipes, for both hot and cold water. This includes pipers under sinks and cabinets as well as overhead in a basement.
For budget-conscious homeowners, a smart thermostat can be a great option. Search for one with sensors to detect cold areas in your home for best results. Smart thermostats will let you monitor your energy usage and make adjustments as needed.
Homeowners should regularly check their heating equipment throughout the winter. While many will cover this in their fall preparation, it’s still important to check back in as the season progresses. Especially when it comes to filters and vents, you want to make sure that things are clean and unobstructed.
Keeping walkways clean is important for safety. Again, depending on the homeowner and the amount of snow, this may be done by the homeowners themselves or they may hire assistance. The key is to be prepared. If you know shoveling isn’t safe for you, have a plan in place before the snow falls.
Another plan all homeowners should have in place for the winter is what to do in case of a burst pipe. The most important thing here is knowing where your main water line shut-off valve is located. With freezing temperatures that will occur throughout the winter, it’s important that homeowners are prepared to do this should they encounter an issue.
Look for Tree Damage
Storms and strong winds can knock trees and branches. Be sure to check the trees surrounding your house to make sure that none are posing a threat to the safety of your home. If you notice large fallen branches or trees that have started to tip, you can contact professionals to assess and remove anything that could cause damage.
While much of the focus in the fall is on preparation, in the winter, it shifts to maintenance. It’s important for homeowners to stay on top of this maintenance to ensure their own safety and the safety of their property. Whether you tackle these tasks yourself, or you seek out professional assistance, make sure you make home maintenance a priority throughout the winter.