Before you know it, winter will be here with a vengeance. By all accounts, this winter may be even harsher, colder and snowier than last year’s frigid fiasco. Therefore, the best thing you can do — in addition to stocking that pantry and getting new snow tires — is to get your home ready for the harsh conditions it will be facing. Here are several things you should do to ensure that your home is a safe haven from wicked winter weather.
Check Your Heating System
You don’t want your heating system to kick out during the worst storm of the century, so be sure to have your HVAC system thoroughly examined by a professional at the start of the season. This is a perfect example of how an ounce of prevention is definitely worth a pound of cure. Avoid those panicked mid-storm phone calls and get that system tuned-up now.
Protect Your Trees
During the cold winter months, large animals like deer and moose forage for food and during these scarce times, tree bark can be a tempting treat. Also, males tend to rub their antlers on tree trunks to remove velvet and polish them up. All this activity can wreak havoc on your trees.
To prevent this, wrap your trees with woven-wire or chicken-wire fencing. You can also use items like plastic tubes or pipes to block access to your trees. Items like these will keep your trees safe but will not hamper your trees’ natural growth pattern.
Consider Backup Power
Of course, when things can go wrong, they usually do. Therefore, it’s a good idea to have a backup generator in place, especially if you live in an area that tends to get a lot of power outages during icy storms. You don’t need to buy a system; you can rent a power generator that will give you peace of mind even when the forecast calls for a wicked nor’easter.
Safeguard Your Garden
You’ll want to make sure delicate plants can survive the winter, whether you cultivate vegetables or flowers. There are many things you can do to protect them from the cold. Lay down a layer of mulch, which acts as insulation and protects root systems. If the nights are especially brutal, cover plants with a tarp or cloth — being sure to prop it up so as not to cause any damage to your plants. Take it off during the day to give plants fresh air. If you’re especially ambitious you can even build a cold frame to help trap heat and block out the frost.
Install Heat Tape
If you live in an area that is particularly icy, with sub-zero temperatures — where you think global warming is not such a bad thing — you might want to consider installing heat tape on your roof, gutters or water pipes. Heat tape is actually a cord that is wrapped in electrical wire. When plugged in, it can regulate temperature and combat frozen pipes and gutters. It can help prevent damage to your gutters and keep you from having to deal with frozen pipes in the middle of another polar vortex.
These are all great ways to help keep your home and property safe and warm during winter’s wicked onslaught. All it takes is a little foresight, planning and elbow grease. With these precautions, you and your home can weather any storm.