INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Indiana home heating experts say the time is now to prepare your home for whatever the winter weather will bring. A quick check of your house from top to bottom could save you headaches and expensive repairs in the long run.
Tim Tracy, National Sales Trainer with Groundworks, urges people to take note if their floors feel cold.
“Something as simple as cold floors in a crawl space could indicate you’re setting yourself up for potential problems with the pipes and pipe-freezing, that type of thing,” Tracy explained.
Tracy said the cold can cause different issues for houses with basements.
“In the wintertime, you’ve got the frozen water, that can put pressure on foundation walls,” Tracy said.
Experts say now is the time to notice any cracks in the foundation of your home, and to call for help quickly.
“Foundation cracks, basement wall cracks, if you’re seeing that horizontal crack, those things don’t move linearly,” Tracy explained. “A cold snap can put a lot of extra pressure and those things can move quite quickly.”
A major concern in the winter months is frozen pipes. Consumer Reports advises people to wrap insulation around vulnerable pipes. Professionals say people should leave faucets dripping when the temperature drops, and leave the heat on – even if you won’t be home.
“That heat is keeping pipes warm and protecting your home,” Tracy said. “Opening up your cabinet doors, while you’re gone, allows the circulation of the heat that’s in the house.”
Tracy advises people to check their sealants and caulking around their windows which can let in cold air if they’re cracked. They can also feel for a draft by holding a hand near a window.
“As things are drying out during the winter, if you’re not getting a lot of moisture, the caulking and the sealants can dry out and crack,” Tracy explained. “Which is also going to give areas for that air and that cold wind to get into the house.”
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors lists additional advice for keeping your home safe during the winter. You can find their winterization advice at www.nachi.org/winterization.