Preparing Your Home for Cold Weather

In Colorado, everyone you come across has at least one story about an epic Colorado winter. The season’s reputation precedes itself, with harrowing tales about the Rocky Mountain chills passed around among Coloradans. To the outsider the state resembles a frostbitten, alluring, snow-tipped El Dorado - and for the most part, that's true.

We’re currently entrenched in the final days of the summer, but fall and winter loom on the horizon, which means homeowners have their work cut out for them. Fall is a crucial time for homeowners to proactively prepare their properties for the most frigid of temperatures that accompany Colorado winters. Don't despair - with a few simple precautions, you can save yourself a considerable amount of stress, shave dollars off your energy bill, and make your home considerably warmer.

We may not want to admit it, but winter is on the way.

We may not want to admit it, but winter is on the way.

Make sure you start preparing your home early: 

Have a technician inspect your furnace or heat pump sooner rather than later.

Instead of waiting until the snow hits to receive the bad news that your furnace or heater may be out of commission, spoil the surprise by getting an inspection on your furnace early. Having a clean furnace that is operating efficiently will make the winter more comfortable in the long run.

....just don't pull a Clark Griswold...

....just don't pull a Clark Griswold...

Climb that ladder to give your roof a look. 

By the same token, inspect your roof or have a contractor check it out for loose shingles or unsound areas. Assessing your roof now will prevent leaks and will also ensure that your house can withstand heavy snowfall. Having a structurally solid roof is important for Colorado residents; the state is no stranger to experiencing incredibly hefty and wet snow showers in the late winter and early spring.

Start from the outside and work your way in: 

Trim the branches of your trees and plants, but don’t pull out the shears too quickly.

It may seem like a good time to begin pruning and cutting trees once leaves begin to fall, but hold off. It’s better to pare down branches and plants a few months later when they have been inactive for some time. Doing so will improve your chances of a quicker and healthier regrowth in the spring, which is good for homeowners who are looking to place their property on the real estate market as soon as the winter winds down.

Be diligent in removing leaves from gutters to avoid ice dams.

And more on the leaf note. Cleaning out the gutters and removing all leaves and other nature offal is a prudent measure to take. Leaving gutters full and blocked can lead to ice dams that easily damage roofs. Ice dams are commonplace on roofs with shoddy interior ventilation - ensure your roof is air-tight before winter sets in.

Turn off and drain all exterior faucets.

Forgetting to turn off and drain your faucets is an easy step to forget, but it’s crucial. Water left in the system of exterior pipes can freeze and expand which, of course, puts your pipes at risk for bursting.

Check out your windows for caulking opportunities.

Eye your windows from the outside and search for any cracks. If there are any noticeable holes, caulking is in order. Caulking helps to avoid drafts and helps slash that heating bill, too. If your windows are in reaching the end of their life, it may be time to consider investing in double pane windows.

Once the cold temperatures are here to stay, begin prepping inside your home: 

Find those pipes located in unheated areas of the house and protect them.

Wrap your plumbing and pipes in the cooler parts of the house with insulation foam or pipe wrap to stop water from freezing and bursting your pipes.

And finally…

Locate vents and make sure that furniture or any objects are not blocking the openings. If your rooms have ceiling fans, reversing the direction of the blades will create an updraft that will push down the hot air from the ceiling. Also, a few more blankets on each bed will go a long way during those bitter nights. At TRELORA, we know that there’s nothing better than a toasty home during the winter, and these simple steps will help you brave the Colorado winter stress-free.