Winterizing Your Midwest Home: 4 Essential Steps from a General Contractor

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With autumn in full swing and winter on the horizon, it's the perfect time to prepare your Midwest home for the upcoming cold weather. Here in the Midwest, winter brings freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls, which can take a toll on our homes. By following these four crucial steps, you'll not only keep your home in excellent condition during the winter but also thank yourself come spring!

Step 1: Fall Cleanup for a Winter-Ready Home

The first step in winterizing your home is to perform a thorough fall cleanup. This ensures your home is well-prepared for the challenges of winter. Start by clearing your downspouts to allow rain and melting snow to flow freely, ensuring proper drainage around your home's perimeter.

Don't forget to remove any debris that may have accumulated in your gutters, around windows, and near vents. Leaves, in particular, can clog gutters and lead to ice dams, potentially damaging your roof. Take this opportunity to inspect your roof for any signs of damage or leaks and address any issues while the weather is still favorable.

Step 2: Drain and Disconnect Outdoor Silcocks

The next vital step is to drain and disconnect the outdoor silcocks around your home. This precautionary measure helps prevent frozen pipes, which can cause extensive damage if they burst during freezing temperatures. Ensuring these outdoor water sources are properly managed is essential for a hassle-free winter. Also don’t forget to leave your hose disconnected!

Step 3: Furnace or Boiler Tune-Up

Midwest winters can be exceptionally cold, and the last thing you want is for your furnace or boiler to fail on the coldest day of the year. We recommend scheduling a professional inspection with your trusted Plumber or HVAC technician to ensure that your heating system is working well. This proactive step guarantees that your home will remain warm and comfortable throughout the winter season. Technician schedules fill up quickly in the fall, so remember to call early. Our trusted trade partners in the metro area are Rascher Plumbing and Heating for boilers, and Binder Heating and Air for furnaces.

Step 4: Window Maintenance for Efficiency

The final step in your fall maintenance routine is to address your windows. While the weather is still mild, take the time to thoroughly clean your windows, removing debris and accumulated dirt. You'd be surprised at how much can build up, especially if you've had your windows open during the warmer months.

Consider removing window screens for the winter, as they can trap moisture and negatively impact your windows. While this step is optional, it's a good practice to clean your screens before storing them for the season. Additionally, make sure your windows are properly sealed to enhance energy efficiency. Sealing any gaps or cracks near your windows prevents drafts that could lead to higher energy bills.

By following these four essential steps, you'll be well-prepared to face the Midwest winter with confidence. A thorough fall cleanup, proper management of outdoor silcocks, a furnace or boiler tune-up, and diligent window maintenance will help ensure a cozy and energy-efficient home during the colder months. Stay tuned for more tips on maintaining your home throughout every season!

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