The cold of winter makes it much harder to accomplish the tasks we take for granted in the summer. That’s why preparing for snow and ice remains at the top of the list for most folks when the sun is shining and the leaves are falling. A few weeks of preparation before the first snow falls can truly help you stay prepared for winter and the dreary days ahead.
If you’re not sure what services to hire before winter, you’re not alone. We’ve created this simple guide to help you jumpstart the process of preparing for Jack Frost well ahead of time. The services we included address the entire house, from roof to basement and everything in between. The cold will find any place it can to get into your home. Keep it out this winter with our guide to the services you should hire before temperatures reach below freezing.
Why Prepare for Winter with Home Services
It only takes one burst pipe to understand the devastation and cost leaks can cause. These consequences are tenfold when temperatures are below zero. When the weather outside is frightful, it pays to stay prepared. With some discipline and a schedule, preparing for winter can be a small part of your seasonal routines.
Staying ahead of the snow benefits the entire household. Really, it’s the lack of preparedness that demonstrates why taking the extra time to care for your home before winter can have such a widespread effect. In short, it’s more about what could happen if you don’t prepare than what happens if you do.
For example, failing to prepare your home for winter could result in a lack of heating oil. This puts your entire house at risk of freezing, as water pipes need heat to allow water to flow through them. Frozen pipes often burst in the most expensive and damaging way. Plus, you’ve got to consider the weight of the snow on your roof and a clogged chimney that could present a health hazard as well as a safety hazard.
Coming up with a plan to prepare for winter can help you and your family enjoy the season with one less thing to worry about. When you’ve checked your home over for any potential issues and done the best you can to stay proactive, chances are you might start to think about winter a little differently. Avoid the drama and stress of leaky pipes and sagging roofs this winter. Prepare your home ahead of time and reap the benefits all winter long.
8 Services to Get Your Home Ready for Winter
Before you run around the house wondering what services to hire before winter, check out our list below. It’ll give you the boost you need to start marking preparation tasks off your to-do list.
Heating Oil Delivery Services
As one of the most critical services to hire before winter, heating oil delivery services often take a bit of timing to coordinate. Most local heating oil deliveries are frequently made during the winter months when heating oil helps keep your house warm. Scheduling deliveries before the holiday rush (and price spike) can help you not only save money but stay prepared, too.
To help your local heating oil deliveries go smoothly, you’ll want to ensure that your tank is easily accessible. Clear any debris from the path to your heating oil tank, including snow and ice. It’s also a good idea to clear a path for the delivery truck whenever possible.
Of all the services to hire before winter, heating oil delivery services should be at the top of your list. Once this service is squared away, you can move on to the roof.
Chimney Maintenance Services
Hiring a chimney inspection company can help you prepare your chimney for the winter months ahead. Most chimney cleaning companies are busiest in the months before the first snowfall, so scheduling your appointment in advance can help ensure you get a spot on the calendar.
Failure to clean out your chimney and flue can potentially cause a fire. The bricks of the chimney should be inspected frequently as well. Any water that gets in can potentially freeze and swell the bricks to put the entire structure at risk. Catching this type of damage early on can help prevent more extensive damage from occurring over the winter months.
These chimney services to hire before winter often have the most impact when done frequently. A dirty chimney is a safety hazard at any point in the year, so keeping on top of maintenance in this regard can help fend off any issues later down the road.
Water Heater Maintenance Services
Replacing your water heater can be expensive and inconvenient. However, water heater replacement services are often most popular in the winter months, as improper care for these critical components can cause premature failure. On your services to hire before winter list, be sure to include a licensed plumber who can inspect your water heater.
Like chimneys and practically any part of home maintenance, it’s best to schedule water heater inspections regularly. This can help a visit from the plumber be one of many services to hire before winter, not after damage/failure has occurred. Plus, you can potentially catch minor issues before they turn into major problems.
Experts recommend that you set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees in colder months. While this is probably a lower temperature than you’re used to, it can help increase efficiency and save you money. Higher temperatures can over-stress the heater since it’s unable to maintain the setting in colder weather. Avoid the draw on your water heater and pocketbook by lowering the temperature as the weather gets colder.
You can also insulate exposed sections of your water heater with foam. Licensed plumbers can inspect for rust and verify the water heater is working properly. In some cases, the plumber might need to flush the water heater to remove sediment buildup. These are all common with water heater services to hire before winter.
Basement Waterproofing Services
There’s nothing like the feeling of having a basement drainage system you can rely on when the snow and ice start to melt. The best basement drainage systems keep water away from the foundation and prevent any damage from occurring. Rather than letting the water stand where it is, drainage systems direct the water using gravity.
In addition to drainage systems, you can also grade the land around your home to help water shed away from it. In some areas of the country, you may even need to install sump pumps, vapor barriers, dehumidifiers, or ventilators. You should also inspect your foundation and basement for cracks and openings. Seal cracks and plug holes to ensure the heat within your home stays there.
Roof Repair Services
Most people don’t think of their roof when considering what services to hire before winter. However, your roof is just as important as the foundation when it comes to keeping the cold at bay. After all, it’s what keeps the snow off your head.
Roofing businesses see a surge of activity before the autumn air turns crisp. In fact, residential roofers can often be seen in many neighborhoods across the U.S. fixing shingles and repairing broken tiles. A roofing business is one of many essential services to hire before winter to prevent any roof damage from heavy snow. Did you know that snowfall can reach over 20 pounds at times? That’s a lot for your roof to hold up.
In addition to repairing your roof, you should also inspect and clean your gutters. This helps any water drainage to flow from your roof to the ground. That water won’t collect on your roof and weigh it down, potentially increasing your chances for leaks and failure. Most of the time, it’s the pesky leaves that fall during autumn that clog up gutters, so cleaning them out after the majority of the leaves in your area have fallen can help you prepare your roof for winter.
Heating Repair Services
To avoid heating repair Chapel Hill NC residents should place heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) services on their to-do list before winter. Performing these services at regular intervals can help prevent failure during cold winter months when all that’s standing between you and the freezing temperatures outside is a working furnace.
Each year, you should include furnace-inspection services to hire before winter on your list. These companies can also clean out your air ducts and inspect and change your furnace filters as well. This will help prevent future issues and can even cut down on the musty smell you get when you first turn on your heat.
It’s a good idea to schedule a furnace and HVAC repair service before the end of fall and the beginning of winter. During this time of year, these services to hire before winter are the busiest. Calling a few weeks ahead of time can help you get on the schedule without problems. It also gives you time to repair or replace broken parts before temperatures drop.
Garage Door Inspection
For most people, garage door inspections don’t make it on the list of services to hire before winter. That’s a huge concern, given the fact that most garages can leak tons of heat if they’re not sealed properly. This can not only increase your heating bill but potentially cause freezing concerns in your garage as well.
Of the many services to hire before winter, garage door inspections can make the most difference and potential issues are often easier to address. For example, if you have a gap between your garage door and the house, you can simply add in weather stripping. Cracks in the concrete near the door can be sealed as well.
However, you should also consider the areas where your car(s) will be parked when it’s covered in snow after driving outside all day. As the snow melts, it can cause water damage to any boxes or belongings that are not kept unreachable.
You may also want to oil any hinges or joints that are squeaky before the weather turns too cold. As the temperatures increase, any oil within the joints will become thinner. This will lube those components. In the wintertime, these oil molecules get further apart as they freeze, meaning those hinges you thought were fine in July are now squeaky in November.
New Door Installation
Access points pose the most risk to letting heat out in the wintertime. Though it’s not necessarily one of the more critical services to hire before winter, replacing your doors can help you save on heating costs now and cooling costs down the road.
Door install projects can be maximized by adding a storm door in addition to the new door itself. A storm door simply acts as an outer protective layer to the door, which can help keep the weather off it and act as an insulating layer as well.
Whether you’re installing a brand-new door or a storm door as well, you should ensure that it seals tight. It’s best to try and achieve this with the door and the existing threshold. However, you can also add weather stripping if and where necessary. It’s astonishing how much those drafts can bring down the temperature in your home. With weather stripping and a door that seals properly, those drafts stay outside where they belong.
Use These Services to Prepare for Winter Today
Preparing for winter doesn’t just mean starting your holiday shopping list. There are plenty of services to hire before winter comes, so you can stay prepared for the cold months ahead. We hope our list of services to hire before winter has helped you to see what tasks you should prioritize before temperatures drop too low. Avoid the hassle of burst pipes and frigid temperatures. Check winter preparations off your to-do list, so you can enjoy time with your family and friends.