Old Man Winter is on his way, and so is home owner anxiety over the potential impacts of extreme weather. REALTORS® can be a hero to their clients by supplying the following budget-friendly tips for winterizing a home.
- Clean Those Gutters! This crucial step tops nearly every winter preparation list for a reason. Ice dams and icicles can be prevented by making sure water has a clear path to move.
- Cost: An afternoon and a little bit of sweat equity
- Protect Your Home’s Pipes. While having an emergency release valve installed in your plumbing system can help prevent frozen pipes from bursting, it will set you back several hundred dollars. Keeping a few faucets on a low, slow trickle is another preventative measure with a much smaller price tag.
- Cost: Far less than a plumber’s bill
- Change Ceiling Fans to a Clockwise Direction. This will help warm air that is trapped near the ceiling move throughout the room. Just make sure the fan is on a slow speed, or it will create a cool breeze.
- Cost: $0
- Cut Back Encroaching Branches. If tree branches hang over your home, power lines, or vehicles, make sure to cut them back before they get weighed down by heavy snow.
- Cost: $0 if you’re able to DIY, or, if you require a professional, remember that branch removal is typically far less expensive than full tree removal.
- Insulate! Insulate! Insulate! Are your clients in a drafty older home? Small, inexpensive tools such as caulk, draft guards, and weather stripping can significantly reduce a home’s heat loss.
- Cost: Not much. With weatherstripping running around $5 and draft guards for under $20, this step is a no-brainer.
- Flush Out the Water Heater. Since these heaters take long breaks during the warm weather months, particles can settle in the outlets, reducing efficiency.
- Cost: $0 if you can do it yourself!
- Bring the Hose Inside. It’s a simple step, but if a garden hose is still attached to a faucet when the water inside it freezes, it can result in burst pipes, broken joints, and/or broken valves.
- Cost: Not a thing!
Winterizing a home can seem daunting, but these simple, budget-friendly steps can help home owners embrace the “cozy” and forget about the “costly”!