Even though we live in Arizona, we still need to winterize our homes! As a REALTOR® it is important to keep an eye on your clients vacant property and to also inform your past and current clients on how to properly winterize their homes. Here are 5 simple tips on how to help avoid costly problems this winter.
1. Check that chimney and furnace Before firing up your furnace this season, ask an HVAC technician to perform a tune-up to make sure it’s working safely. Likewise, don’t light the first fire until your chimney sweep gives the all-clear after cleaning any buildup and inspecting the flue for any problems.
2. Clear rain gutters Autumn leaves likely cluttered your rain gutters, but get out your ladder or ask a handyman to clear debris before the first snowfall. Melting snow that refreezes in clogged gutters can cause an ice dam that may damage your roof.
3. Seal leaky windows and doors If new efficient windows aren’t in your budget this year, cover up this costly source of air leaks to keep cold winds out and warm air inside. A handyman can install weatherstripping and caulk around the doors and windows, or seal them with plastic film.
4. Protect your pipes Prevent a winter water blowout by removing and draining hoses on outside spigots. Use spray foam insulation to fill any openings around the hose bib to prevent cold air from infiltrating the wall and freezing the pipes inside. Insulate pipes in exterior walls, crawl spaces or attics, and leave indoor faucets trickling to keep water flowing during a freeze.
5. Ensure your insulation measures up take a ruler to your attic and see how many inches of insulation separate you from the outside air. Most homes should have at least 12 inches in the attic depending on the type of insulation, and the farther north you live the thicker it should be. If you’re not covered, call an insulation company to add more. I view a lot of older homes and that is one thing that seems to be lacking is insulation, when they have an attic.