By: Michelle Tunquist
Not every disaster can be prevented, but there are a few steps you can take to prevent the avoidable ones. Taking extra time now to prepare your home for winter, may make all the difference in preventing problems down the road. Before winter settles in, make sure you do these tasks to prevent problems before they occur.
- Prevent Burst Pipes. A broken pipe is a surefire way to get water damage. Minimize the chances of this occurring by taking some action before the cold hits. Unhook all outdoor hoses and drain water from outdoor faucets and hoses. If you have a sprinkler system, arrange to have the pipes blown out. Check your pipes and identify any that are likely to freeze. Consider using heat tape or insulate the pipes to keep them warm during cold weather. Seal any leaks that allow cold air to get to pipes. When the extremely cold days arrive, monitor your pipes and drip warm water to keep the pipes from freezing. Make sure to keep your thermostat up high enough to prevent freezing, even at night when many people commonly drop the temperature in their home. Most importantly, make sure you know where the shut off valve is located. If the pipes burst, you will want to shut off the water as soon as possible to minimize damage.
- Check Your Furnace. Your furnace should be inspected every year. This will ensure that it is functioning properly. You don’t want to wait until you have a problem and have to go without heat before you have your furnace checked. A quick inspection will help you have confidence that the furnace is working as it should, let you know that you don’t have any gas leaks, and protect you from a malfunction that could cause a fire. Change your air filters and clean out your vents. This will protect the air quality in your home.
- Inspect Your Chimney. A nice fire is a great way to stay warm in the winter, but it can be dangerous if you haven’t kept your fireplace and chimney properly maintained. Avoid the chance of a fire by having your chimney inspected and cleaned before the cold weather arrives. Make sure to take precautions when using the fire. Keep furniture, other items and children away from the fireplace.
- Use Space Heaters Safely. Using a space heater may be your inexpensive solution to drafty rooms in your home. If you choose to use a space heater, make sure to use caution as well. Space heaters should be placed away from furniture, toys, blankets and any other item. Prevent fire by supervising their use, especially if you have children or pets.
- Clean Out Gutters. Leaves and other debris can build up in the gutters and prevent them from draining correctly. If water builds up in gutters, it may flow into your house rather than away. Prevent water damage and mold problems by cleaning out the gutters and making sure they drain correctly—away from the house.
- Seal Leaks. Check the weatherstripping on doors and windows. Look for decayed wood and replace when necessary. Seal leaks around pipes and wiring. This will not only keep your house warmer by preventing cold air from entering, but will prevent water leaks too.
- Deep Clean. Winter time means lots of time spent indoors sharing germs and space. A deep clean throughout the house will make your home a more enjoyable place to spend your time and will also remove allergens and germs. Take the time to get your carpet and furniture professionally cleaned so that you can start all your indoor time off on the right foot. Tobin Cleaning and Restoration can help you make your home a space where you want to spend the winter months. Give us a call to learn about our cleaning services.
When the Unavoidable Occurs
These tasks will help you prevent problems, but sometimes that just isn’t enough. Despite your best efforts, a pipe may still burst or a fire may start. If this happens, Tobin Restoration and Cleaning is here to help. When a pipe bursts, turn off the water immediately, then give us a call. We can help you get your house cleaned and fixed as quickly as possible. If you have a fire in your home, once you’ve gotten your family to safety and alerted emergency personnel, give us a call and we can get your home put back together. We are here to help with any type of home restoration project, and if you just need a deep clean. Call us today!