It doesn’t have to be a polar vortex for winter temperatures to affect your house. It’s essential for homeowners and renters to be aware of how changing weather can impact their homes to take preventative measures to keep everything in top shape. Here are five potential seasonal issues to watch for to help safeguard your property.
Winter May Have These 5 Effects on Your House
1. Furnace ShutdownsAs temperatures go well below freezing, the furnace will kick in to keep your home comfortable. Keep the HVAC working all season long by having it inspected every fall. A technician will check out the ductwork, furnace and fuel source and perform maintenance like changing filters to improve indoor air quality. By getting this annual check-up, you’ll reduce the likelihood that the system will fail during the coldest days of winter. Additionally, ask the technician if your furnace features a humidifier. If not, consider placing these appliances in various rooms in your home. The devices will add moisture to the air and prevent the dry skin and watery eyes that often come with turning up the heat.
2. Frozen PipesDuring the winter, many plumbers offer 24/7 emergency services to address frozen pipes. Uninsulated basements, crawlspaces, attics and garages are the most likely to experience this problem if they feature water pipes. You can avoid this costly mess by individually insulating the pipes with reflective tape, running portable heaters at low temperatures when the thermometer goes below freezing and opening the taps to create a constant drip to keep the water moving.
3. Roof TroubleYour roof may take on a lot of extra weight during a snowy winter. Consider removing the snow with a roof rake to reduce this excess stress and improve the longevity of the structure. Also, take a look at the roof after extreme winds to keep an eye out for shingles that are damaged or have blown off. Call a roofer to fix any problems right away to keep the home waterproof and airtight.
4. Gutter DamsIt’s especially important to keep an eye on your gutters during the winter. As precipitation falls and freezes, it can create massive ice structures called dams that prevent water from flowing through the gutters. Dams are heavy and can rip gutters away from the roof if they are not carefully knocked down. Perform regular snow removal on the roof to minimize the amount of water running off the structure and reduce the chances of dangerous damming.
5. Chimney Air Exchange
Winter is the perfect time to use the fireplace. However, this unique season can wreak havoc on your energy bill if there is any air exchange between your chimney and the outside world. Homeowners should get their fireplaces inspected every year in the late summer or early winter to make sure everything is ready for the coming cold. During this process, an expert will assess the condition of the bricks and mortar and make sure the cap is in place to prevent debris and precipitation from entering the chimney. They’ll look at the inside and outside of the chimney and flue to ensure they’re in top shape and safe to use when the temperatures drop.
Considering Spending Winter in the Windy City?
If you’re looking to rent or buy a home in the Chicago area contact our talented team of realtors. Our experienced group offers home and apartment showings across the city, capable of helping you choose from a modern 2-bedroom loft apartment and a 5-bedroom new construction home. Plus, we’re well-versed in Chicago winters and can share tips on how to make the most of the season like renting cross country skis, going sledding or hitting up Illinois resident free days at local museums.