Are you prepared for winter storms? Winter preparations for your home differ if you live on base or if you live off. According to a study conducted in 2010 analyzing family housing choices, 22% of respondents lived in on-base military housing, 32% rented in the community, and 38% owned homes in the community. There is a learning curve to being your own landlord when transitioning from on-base housing to off-base housing. For those who have lived solely in on-base housing, preparing for winter in a rental home or your own home off-base is a new experience. Be equipped with these tips.
Trees look beautiful, draped in snow and ice. But a tree that came through a window in your bedroom with said winter décor is not. Tree branches become heavy when covered in ice and snow, so if there are tree branches within falling distance of your home, make sure to trim them back before the winter weather is anticipated.
Anything outside in the elements can allow the water to pool in it, which can freeze in temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Pull hoses off of outside spigots and drain all the water from them. Store them in an outdoor shed or garage until spring.
Turn water off outside
In the same vein as hoses, turning off outside sources prevents water from pooling to that source. For instance, if the faucet outside fills with water and the temperatures drop below freezing, the water inside can expand and split the waterline. A crack in a water line can lead to a flood inside the home.
Prepare the pool
If you have a pool in an area with freezing temperatures in winter, hire someone to prepare the pool for winter. They can appropriately prepare all pipes and tubing as well as
Make sure your contact information is up to date for your insurance.
If there is a winter hail storm, for instance, your insurance will likely contact you if you are in an area with a storm. They will check to see if there is damage.
Check your HVAC.
If you have been living in base housing, you should have been provided filters to change monthly, but it is up to you to do it depending on the base. When you move into your own home, the need to continue to change your filters in the recommended time frame continues. Also, doing seasonal maintenance is key.
Fireplaces are not standard in military housing. When moving into a home with a wood-burning fireplace, ensure that the chimney is cleared and allow for smoke to move freely. If it is a gas fireplace, make sure all the connections and fans are working appropriately. Either way, make sure there is a functioning Carbon Monoxide detector nearby.
Clean out gutters.
Clean out gutters of sticks and foliage from the gutter to prevent melting snow and ice from moving through the gutters. If there is a backup of vegetation, a build-up of ice can stay on the roof or gutter, leading to strain on the drainage system.
Prepare for snow/ice.
Make sure to have salt on hand to ice driveways and walkways. Plan for clearing snow off driveways or sidewalks. Be familiar with what the county or state will do in regards to neighborhood roads. Be prepared to clear snow and ice on driveways and walkways in your direct vicinity.
Do you have any tips to add to prepare your home for winter?