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Your Guide to Protecting Your Home in Winter

Homeownership is just the beginning when it comes to building and preserving wealth. Here in New England, we see our fair share of seasonal extremes, which makes protecting your home in winter vital to safeguarding life’s most important purchase.

In this blog, we’re sharing five ways that you can protect your home this winter. We’ve got a simple checklist to keep your investment as red hot as New England’s property market.

 1. Clean your gutters before they freeze

We’re fortunate to live in an area of the country that observes distinct seasons. There are few things as enchanting as a New England autumn, let alone one of our classic winters.

Yet, these seasons can overlap, meaning we can experience freezing temperatures, even when it’s technically the fall season.

That could bring bad news for anyone who’s neglected their rain gutters, and here’s why:

  • A frosty fall day can freeze the water in your gutters leading to big problems. Frozen water expands, and the leaves trapped in your gutter can produce clogs that cause damage. This expansion causes your gutters to crack and eventually leak the next time it rains.
  • Icicles pose a real danger. As if clogged gutters are bad enough, they drastically increase the likelihood of icicles hanging from your roof. These can fall and cause serious injury – or worse – to those on your property.
  • You’re setting yourself up for springtime headaches. Even if your gutters don’t crack and burst, neglecting the debris inside is a sure way to compound your springtime maintenance. Ring in the warmer weather with a clean slate and clear gutters.

Depending on the size of your property, you may want to get this done sooner than later. Temperatures can fluctuate from week to week, especially during transitionary seasons like the fall.

BONUS TIP: If you own an investment property, cleaning your gutters is a great way to protect your investment down the road.

2. Fire up your chimney maintenance

Do you have a wood-burning fireplace? If so, chances are you’re going to be using it quite a bit once temperatures plunge.

Here’s how you can keep your home’s fireplace working for you now and into the future:

  • Hire a chimney cleaning service. Soot and other residues can build up in your chimney, increasing the likelihood of flammability and poor air quality inside your home. This maintenance is even more important if you have more than one fireplace.
  • Sweep up your hearth. Soot, dirt, and other particles from previous fireplace usage can cause issues for your home. Dirty furniture, dingy walls, and even fire risk can result from untidy hearths, leading to unintended risks down in the future. Clean your hearth after every few uses so that you can relax and get toasty.

Fireplaces are big selling points for homes and increase value. Taking care of your fireplace is a great way to protect your home’s value.

BONUS TIP: Calling a chimney cleaning service before temperatures plunge makes it easier for the professionals you hire to do the work, and it will give you peace of mind as the winter season approaches.

3. Check your home’s heating systems

Furnaces break, water heaters go kaput, and HVAC systems stall out. Imagine the stress of dealing with any one of these breakdowns in cold weather. Schedule a furnace, HVAC, and boiler check-up before it’s too chilly outside. The last thing you want is to be left out in the cold waiting for a professional to pencil you in. Getting ahead of these issues can also save you money. Emergency calls can sometimes lead to heftier service charges. Trust a local expert to look at all your home’s heating systems to avoid frigid surprises this winter.

4. Set yourself up for successful snow removal

Condo owners can (usually) sit this one out. Yet, if you own a single-family home or a multi-unit property, all that snow removal is your responsibility.

Here’s how you can get ahead of this season’s snow removal:

  • Check and prepare your snowblower beforehand. Keep a gas canister in a safe place away from flammable agents in case there’s a surprise storm on the way. Also, run your snowblower for five minutes before it gets too cold so that you know you can rev it up once the first snowfall hits.
  • Buy pet-safe rock salt in advance of the first snowfall.
  • Hire a plow service.

5. Keep the water inside your pipes

Exposed water pipes may be at risk for bursting if they freeze. Insulating your pipes keeps them warm so water won’t freeze, expand, and leave you with a costly mess.

Visit your local hardware store and ask which materials work best for wrapping your pipes, especially if you have a basement that gets cold.

It can also be a good idea to set your home’s heat to a reasonable temperature overnight or at least leave the water running to prevent water from freezing.

We’re here for you in any season

Whether you’re buying a new home or refinancing the home you love, we’re here to help you get the most out of homeownership.

Contact us to discover the benefits of homeownership in any season.

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