It's Time to Winterize Our Homes!
We mentioned earlier how much we enjoy the change of seasons in Boise. Well one of the ways to ensure you can enjoy the benefits of living in a beautiful place with four seasons and protect your home from the elements is to winterize. For Boise natives, this is an annual tradition around the time of the first freeze that only costs a few dollars and a little time in preventative maintenance. However, for newer transplants and first-time homebuyers, here’s a quick cheat sheet of things to do in the next couple weeks.
Hire someone off Facebook Marketplace to blowout your sprinklers for $25-40. This will prevent water from freezing in the lines and blowing sprinkler heads. Pick up a couple foam caps to insulate your hose bibs over winter once the lines have been drained.
Close vents in the winter to protect your pipes and keep rodents out. Insulating exposed pipes will also help them withstand the cold.
Clean out the gutters of accumulated leaves, dirt and debris before the first winter storm. They prevent the water from draining properly, and the buildup of water will freeze, causing icicles and ice dams. We remediated a lot of moldy attics after Snowmageddon due to ice dams. Periodically check your roof for ice to make sure snow has a clear path to run off when it melts through the freeze/thaw cycles. It’s much easier to remove if you catch it forming early.
There are many other tips out there for how to improve the energy efficiency of the home, including sealing cracks around windows, reversing ceiling fans and installing door sweeps. But we want to point you towards home appliances that require minimal but regular maintenance to maximize their useful life. Use this time as an annual reminder to change out filters, drain water heaters, etc. Otherwise, these things are often neglected. Doing so will help you avoid costly leaks and detect issues early to minimize damage.
It’s a good idea to drive an AWD or 4x4 vehicle with all season or winter tires in stormy weather. Many tire shops will make the semiannual switch for free if you buy the tires from them. Check the road conditions before traveling for regulations and closures.
Make sure that window scraper is in the car, ready to go.
It’s also worth looking in the garage or shed for fluids you may use on a regular basis that you don’t want frozen and relocating them to a climate-controlled environment, like the laundry room.
All the above assumes a consistently occupied residence. Please note there are other highly advisable steps to take if the home is going to be unoccupied when temperatures fall below freezing.