As below-freezing temperatures are predicted to set in for Montana over the next week, there are a few items homeowners should address.
Blow out sprinkler system – A sprinkler system needs to be winterized to prevent damage during the winter. This can be done by blowing out the water in the system. It often requires a large air compressor to generate enough PSI to force the water out of the system. Many landscaping companies offer this as a service in the fall.
Clean out gutters to help with ice dams – Clean out the fall foliage from the gutter system to help prevent ice dams. Snow melting and freezing can create an ice dam on the roof. This creates a potential hazard and should be avoided. Cleaning out the gutters can allow the snowmelt to drain properly and reduce the chance of an ice dam.
Remove any leaves and debris close to the home – Yard debris built up around the property can prevent proper drainage. If water is not allowed to flow away from the property it can saturate the ground and present issues for the foundation. If the ground by the foundation becomes saturated, the hydrostatic pressure can force water inside a home through any faults in the foundation.
Check seals and weatherstripping around windows and doors – Damaged or missing weatherstripping can allow drafts inside and make heating your home more expensive. Improper seals around windows also present an opportunity for water to leak into a home.
Clean out window wells – Remove any debris that has built up in window wells. They can easily damage windows with bad weather.
Sweep your chimney before use – Creosote buildup can be an ignition source for a dangerous house fire. A professional chimney sweep will remove dangerous buildups and help the smoke draft properly.