Winterize Your Home

Thursday, September 15, 2011

We all know it; Steamboat has officially entered the season of Fall. Our evenings are becoming crisp and cold, and it is getting much easier to stay in bed in the morning as the sun is rising later and later. In just a little over a month, we will be entering Winter, a season that Steamboat is known and loved for. What does that mean for our homes? It means a little TLC is needed before the cold sets in!

The average claim for water freezing and damaging a home is a little over $5,000. Taking a little time to prepare your home for snow, cold, and winter conditions in general can be a huge money-saver later on. Your plumbing, electrical, and security systems are three of the hardest hit areas when the cold sets in.

Plumbing: If your Steamboat home is a summer-only vacation home, be sure to shut off the water for extended periods of absence. Leave the faucets open so excess water can drain, and drain the toilets as well. You can put a small amount of non-toxic marine antifreeze into toilet bowls and drains to prevent frost  breaks. This will greatly reduce the risk  of pipes freezing and breaking. If you live in your home full time or plan to vacation in Steamboat in the winter, be sure you keep the heat on at least to 50 degrees to be sure your pipes are taken care of.

Electrical System: This is the scariest system to leave behind; while you are away, fires can develop in electrical circuits from appliances, even if they are not turned on. We usually take electricity for granted, but don’t forget about it if you don’t live in your home full time.  Turn off circuit breakers for any non-essentials (anything other than heat, security, and outdoor lighting) and unplug appliances as well.

Security System: Not everyone in Steamboat has a security system (some have a barking dog…), but if you do, you can have ‘add-on’s’ to your system such as freeze alarms and leak alarms to notify you if the cold does harm something in your home. In fact, you can even get heat and moisture detectors to notify you if something as wrong inside the home. Security isn’t just about keeping your home safe from the outside; if you don’t live in it full time, problems can come from the inside too.

Remember, investing in your home before there is a problem could save you hundreds of thousands in the long run. Just as your car needs maintenance, so does your home, don’t leave it uncared for!

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