This fall has seen abrupt drops in temperature for us here in the DMV, which can catch some homeowners and renters off guard. Here are some of our top tips to minimize damage to your home this winter:
- If your property will be vacant for any length of time, be sure to leave your thermostat set at 60 degrees- Do not turn the heat off! Open cabinet or vanity doors to expose plumbing to room temperature air (especially if abutting an outside wall).
- Water valves serving outside spigots should be shut off on the inside and left open on the outside with no hose attached. Let any remaining water drain out to prevent freezing and burst pipes. If water continues to drain after a few minutes, your property management company or a plumber.
- We recommend getting your gutters cleaned in late November or early December to clean out fallen leaves and debris. Blocked gutters can give rainwater and melting snow nowhere to go, which can cause damage to both the interior and exterior of your home.
- Keep any outside drains clear of leaves and debris, especially those by basement doors. Open window wells should also be free of leaves and debris.
- In case of heavy, damp snowfall, brush the snow from bushes and small trees to prevent damage to your home or it’s landscaping. Healthy, normal-looking trees can topple if there is a lot of rain, snow, and/or wind, so keep an eye out for large, dead limbs or cracks in trunks.
- Clear sidewalks and steps free of ice and leaves as soon as possible to avoid potential injury to yourself or others.
- Inspect your smoke detectors and/or carbon monoxide detectors for operation and batteries. ▪ Put storm windows on to save on utilities.
- Purchase snow shovels and other supplies. Some rock salts and de-icers are bad for concrete.
- Test your furnace now, as during the colder months it can take days for heating companies to get to a house. Additionally, remember to change your furnace filters every month for proper operation.
We’re wishing everyone a safe and happy fall and winter!