It's super windy on this late fall day in Stafford, Virginia. And that chilly wind is doing a good job of blowing the majority of leaves off the trees. I can actually feel a teensy draft sitting near a window in my house. That brings us to some last-minute things to shore up outside before Old Man Winter’s first lasting freeze. Let’s keep your home protected from the elements and keep the utility bill down to boot!
Here are 4 basic outdoor winterizers:
1. Protect those hose bibs
Detach your hose, store it in the garage or basement, turn off the main water supply to the outside, and finish by completely opening your faucet. (Don’t miss this important step to prevent damage from freezing temperatures!)
2. Double check your gutters and trees
You can go back and read our blog post on gutters if you’re starting from scratch here, but even so, it’s a good idea to make sure those water herding heroes are still clear of large debris and falling leaves. Be sure to check your trees. Eyeball any dead limbs or overhanging branches that could turn into potential problems after a heavy snow or ice storm.
3. Insulate your pipes
We see hundreds of home water damage claims each winter because plumbing pipes in Virginia homes are more susceptible to freezing. That's because homes in southern climates can be built with plumbing running throughout unheated and uninsulated areas. When pipes freeze they can burst, resulting in major water damage and costly repairs. Inexpensive pipe insulators are super easy to install and can prevent a costly burst. Learn more about preventing frozen pipes here.
4. Seal things up
Next, check inside around doors and windows by looking for cracks of light and feeling for cool air. Those spots can be easily sealed by a good weather stripping. Check your rubber sweeps under your exterior doors and replace them if needed.
That about wraps up the outside. It feels good to be all tucked in! Next up, moving on to the inside! Fireplaces and heating systems will need to get things cozy and warm just in time for the holidays.