How to Handle These Common Winter-Related Home Problems
While there are some great parts to Winter – holidays, warm fires, and playing the snow – there are also some parts that are not so great. The severe weather we experience in Winter has a way of wreaking havoc on our homes, and causing some problems that we need to deal with. As Winter comes to a close, now is a time to take care of any problems you’ve experienced as a result, to get your home ready for Spring. Here are a few problems you might have experienced, and how to handle them.
A common problem during the Winter is the power going out. A heavy snowstorm comes along, knocks out a power line, and suddenly your without power for days. While you can’t protect your home against this problem entirely, there are a few things you can do. For starters, check the lines around your home, and see if there are any tree branches that are too close. Tree branches are the most common cause of power outages, so cutting them down might prevent future problems. Besides that, look into getting a backup generator for your home. This will allow your home to have some power in the case of an emergency, and keep your home running until you fix the problem.
When those branches fall, or the heavy snowfalls come, more than the power lines are in danger. Your roof takes a beating during the Winter, and by the end of it, it’s not surprising if you have some roof damage. As Winter goes along, and especially once it’s over, you’re going to want to look for signs of roof damage. You might experience some more bad storms during the Spring, and you want your home ready. Waking up one morning to find a leak in your ceiling isn’t a fun experience, so be sure to keep an eye on your roof throughout the Winter.
The worst part of Winter is usually the cold weather. If your home isn’t properly insulated, you might find that the cold temperatures are leaking into your home. You want to have a respite from the cold, but you can’t do this if you are cold inside your own home. Not only is this uncomfortable, but wastes energy, and therefore costs you more money. Take some time during the Winter to examine which parts of your home are the coldest, and look for ways to trap in the heat, and keep out the cold. Door sweeps, properly insulated windows, and leaving the blinds open during sunny days are all great places to start.
Scuffed Up Floors and Dirty Carpets
Unfortunately, all of the Winter weather doesn’t always stay outside. Unless you are very careful, you will likely find that snow, mud, and other debris come inside from the bottom of shoes. This leads to your floors getting scuffed up, and maybe even some stains on your carpets. Consider adding some area rugs near the entrance to your home to protect hardwood floors. You should also have a place to take off shoes before entering the home. Finally, as Winter comes to a close, consider giving your carpets a good cleaning to remove any stains you might have gotten over the past few months.
Icy Sidewalks and Driveways
Winter weather makes for dangerous driving conditions, along with dangerous walking conditions. It’s not uncommon for ice to form on our sidewalks and driveways, making them a difficult place to walk. If you notice this happening, get yourself some rock salt for the area. Also shovel away as much ice and snow as you can, to keep it from melting and then freezing again in that spot. Lastly, it’s not a bad idea to place a sign warning of the slippery walkway for any guests who come to your home.
When the ice and snow do melt, you are often left with some large puddles. If the puddles grow too large, or if you get a heavy amount of rain, you might experience some flooding. While this might only be an inconvenience if it’s outside your home, if it starts to come into your home, you have a problem. Look for signs of flooding or leaking in the lower parts of your home – particularly basements and crawl spaces – and call in experts if you notice wet spots or puddles. Water can cause a lot of damage within the home, so you’ll want to get this taken care of as soon as you can. As Spring comes the ground will only become more saturated with water, making flooding more likely, so preventing it now is your best course of action.