Acknowledged as one of the best skiing destinations in the world, Telluride in winter is simply exceptional. But as the excitement for ski season builds up, don’t forget to prepare your home for the freezing weather ahead.
Here are some of the most important things to do:
- Check and clean your gutter and downspouts
- Check the roof
- Ensure you have sufficient insulation in the attic and crawl spaces
- Protect your pipes and water heater
- Have your furnace checked
- Get your chimney and fireplace cleaned
- Make sure doors, windows, and other openings are properly insulated
- Protect your landscaping
- Create an emergency plan
- Give your interior a warm and cozy feel
Clogged gutters and downspouts can trap water, which can seep into your home and lead to rotting and foundation problems. Make sure to inspect your gutter and clear it of leaves and other debris. Downspouts that direct water straight to the ground can also damage your basement or foundation. Consider adding a downspout extender to divert water from melting snow away from the house.
Your roof is highly vulnerable to damage caused by weather elements. Have it inspected before the winter to repair broken parts or shingles, and to remove leaves and debris. Watch out for any signs of sagging, which can have disastrous consequences when there’s too much snow buildup. Have the area along the flashing inspected to ensure it is sealed completely.
Having the right amount of insulation will help you achieve better energy efficiency and ensure your home stays warm and comfortable. Improper attic insulation can allow warm air to escape through your roof. This can lead to ice dams that will prevent melting snow from draining off the roof.
Insulate the water heater to keep it performing optimally and efficiently.
Protect exposed pipes from freezing by insulating them. If you do get frozen pipes, thaw them slowly by using a hair dryer. Have your landscaper get all of the water out of your irrigation pipes through a blowout. If you have aboveground ponds or a pool, make sure they’re partially drained before winter sets in.
Hire a professional to inspect your furnace and ducts. Ensure they’re working properly before the winter sets in. If your furnace breaks down in the middle of the season, you might have to wait a while before a technician becomes available, plus you will likely be charged more for their services. Have your furnace and ducts cleaned, and make sure to change the filters once a month.
A blazing fire on the fireplace can make any home feel warmer and cozier during the winter. But make sure your chimney is free from creosote, a black, oily substance that builds up from constant use and can cause your chimney to ignite. Hire a professional to get rid of soot and creosote.
In addition, store firewood in a clean dry place and make sure the fireplace damper can be properly opened and closed.
Heated air can escape through gaps around windows and doors, and even cracks in walls. This can lead to drafts and cause your heating system to work harder. Avoid this by insulating your windows and doors, and sealing cracks and other openings where drafts can occur. Use weather stripping, foam insulation, a door snake, and similar materials to keep heated air in and cold air out.
It’s advisable to use native plants in landscaping, as they can thrive in any condition with the least care. However, sensitive plants – even native ones – will need extra tending during the winter. Bring potted sensitive plants indoors. Fertilize your lawn and cut it shorter than usual to prevent fungal diseases from spreading. Wrap shrubs with blankets that can “breathe”, or spray them with anti-desiccant to keep them from drying out or breaking from the weight of the snow. Cover outdoor furniture or bring them inside. And make sure to cut off branches that are hanging too close to your home or to walkways and driveways, as they can break from the weight of too much snow and ice.
It’s best to be prepared in case of a severe snowstorm and you’re trapped in your home. Keep a hard copy of important phone numbers that you may need to call in an emergency. Stock easy to prepare food and potable water. Have flashlights and candles handy should the power go out. Make sure you have enough blankets, and consider getting a safe indoor propane heater. Create an evacuation strategy to prepare for the worst.
Add pillows, throws, and blankets in your living room, entertainment room, and other areas of the home where you and your family spend the most time. Create a warm, inviting feel with the use of more fabrics and textures, such as cloth upholsteries, chunky rugs and throws, and wooden furniture and accents.