When you live in a place with cold winters, preparing for the chilly season is just a part of life. Once the forecast starts predicting snow, it becomes second nature to dig your sweaters out of the back of the closet and check the house for drafts. Even for the most experienced residents of cold regions, however, the winter weather can sometimes end up doing a number on your home or your car in unexpected ways, causing you incredible inconvenience and piling up your expenses. The process of preparing your home or car to prevent these issues is called winterizing, and adding it to your seasonal to-do list can save you many headaches in the future! Here are some ways that you should be winterizing both your home and car this year.
Winterizing Your Home
Clear Your Gutters
No one likes having to clear their gutters. It’s a wet, dirty job, and getting up on a ladder to do it can be stressful. However, it’s absolutely crucial that you make sure your gutters are clear, especially at this time of year. Clogged gutters can cause more issues than you might think. Not only can the debris stop drainage and cause overflows or other water control issues, but when it gets below freezing, the ice can dam up and end up damaging your roof.
Remove Dangerous Branches
Once the autumn leaves have been raked away, you might feel as if you’re free to stop worrying about any trees in your yard for the foreseeable future, but think again. Loose, dead, or rotting branches, particularly ones that hang very close to your house, can cause damage to your home during the winter months as ice and snow weigh them down and may lead to them falling, especially in windy storms. Take the time to check out your trees and trim any hazardous branches. Your future self will thank you!
Check Your Pipes
Frozen pipes are a very effective way to cause serious damage to your house, so avoiding them should be a high priority when it comes to preparing your house for winter. Take a look at your pipes, especially interior pipes along exterior walls of the house, and consider getting them insulated if they aren’t already. You can also leave your taps dripping and open cabinet doors below your sinks to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
Winterizing Your Car
Check Your Tires
Without proper traction or grip, your car’s tires can quickly become a crash waiting to happen in snowy or icy weather. As it starts to get colder, it’s important to take a look at your treads, and replace the tires if they’re starting to get too low. During the winter you should also keep a close eye on your tire pressure– the cold weather can cause it to get low!
Replace Your Wipers
The last time you want to be dealing with windshield wipers that aren’t doing their job is during a winter storm where visibility is absolutely critical. Take a visual look at your wiper blades and see if there are any cracks in the rubber, or if the seal on the windshield is not good. If you notice these problems or your wipers are skipping, chattering, or squeaking when you use them, get them switched out as soon as you can!
Get a Winter Service Done
Going in for a winter service is an excellent idea when it comes to protecting your car from potential damage, and yourself from potential accidents. At this service, good things to make sure get done are topping off your fluids, making sure the brakes are in good condition, and ensuring that the window defrosters are working properly. These precautions can help to prevent problems down the line!
Protecting Your Home and Car
Winterizing your home and car are excellent practices that can help you to prevent issues during the colder months, but one of the best things you can do to protect yourself and your home and car is to ensure that you have proper insurance in place, just in case. If you’re interested in learning more about homeowner’s insurance or car insurance available in your area, contact YMI today! One of our team members will be happy to help you.