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Winterize Your Home

When you own a home, you know there are just some forces of nature that can’t be tamed—severe winter weather can wreak havoc on an unprepared property, which is why it’s so important to winterize your home and get it ready for the cold. So what can you do before Mother Nature comes knocking? The experienced real estate agents at Coakley Realty have some tips on how to winterize your home!

Winterize Your House Tip #1: Beware Frozen Pipes

It’s simple science that when water freezes, it expands—and when it expands inside your pipes, that can mean big trouble for your home. That’s why it’s so important to get your pipes ready for the winter by doing the following:

  1. Turn off the water to the outside faucets, and open the valves to drain any standing water.
  2. Disconnect and drain your garden hoses.
  3. Insulate the pipes that could potentially be exposed to subfreezing temperatures, as they are at the highest risk for freezing.
  4. Keep the cabinet doors open below the sink so that warm air can circulate.
  5. Let any faucets connected to an outdoor water pipe drip, as this can relieve the pressure that could potentially cause a pipe to burst.

In addition to winterizing the pipes, make sure you know where the water main cut-off valve is in case of emergencies, and if you have a cut-off key, keep that handy.

Winterize Your Home Tip #2: Keep the Heat In

The last thing you want this winter is a growing heating bill, and if the heating system isn’t being used efficiently, it can lead to not only a higher utility bill, but an overworked heating system and potential breakdowns. To keep the heat in, save money, and minimize the workload for your home’s furnace or heat pump, we recommend the following:

  1. Have the furnace or heat pump inspected before the start of the cold weather season. This will ensure everything is working properly and that no maintenance issues (such as replacing the filter) or minor repairs are necessary before winter—and if they are, they can be handled now before they end up costing you more.
  2. Repair or replace the weatherstripping and thresholds around the doors and windows.
  3. If your home has a fireplace, have it inspected before it’s used for the season to ensure proper ventilation and that air isn’t escaping when the flue is closed.
  4. Keep the drapes and blinds closed, except when the windows are in direct sunlight.

Winterize Your Home Tip #3: Take Precautions Outdoors

Of course, the majority of the damage that could happen to your home this winter is going to happen from the outside in—and the biggest problem is ice and snow. However, there are things you can do to combat this frozen culprit, including:

  1. Cleaning the gutters and downspouts to prevent ice from forming in them.
  2. Spray an ice repellent solution or lay rock salt on steps and walkways before freezing weather arrives.
  3. In addition to an annual roof inspection, be sure to have the roof inspected following any major storms.

Who to Call for Real Estate Services in MD, VA & DC

Don’t have a home to winterize? Or are you interested in putting your home on the market? Coakley Realty can help you! Our experienced real estate agents can help you buy and sell homes in MD, VA, and DC. Call us today!

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