Arkansas is associated with beautiful landscapes and warm weather, but the winters can be harsher than many people realize. In January alone, Arkansas typically sees two or three inches of snowfall.
That can pose a problem for homeowners who are not pretended for the change in temperature and weather. Cold weather and snow can cause real damage to your home and property if you aren’t ready. Don’t leave preparations until the last minute. Get ready for Arkansas in the winter well before the bad weather rolls in.
There are many ways to prepare your home for winter. Both inside the home and outside, there are things you can and should do to make sure your home will weather the storm without damage. Neglecting these steps could mean that you incur lasting damage that could cost you a lot in both time and money over the long term.
If you need help getting started or just want some ideas on how to prepare for Arkansas in the winter, check out these 7 tips for preparing for winter.
1. Fix Your Roof
If you don’t know where to start, you could always start with your roof.
Your roof is absolutely crucial when it comes to surviving Arkansas in the winter. The roof will take some of the heaviest load during winter, especially when snow arrives. That snow can sit heavily on your roof, especially if it is damaged.
It isn’t just about weight, though. As snow melts, it could cause water damage concerns. That’s another reason to make sure your roof is in good repair before winter ever arrives. Any little holes or damage could be ways for water to seep in.
Water that gets in now won’t only be a problem during winter. That kind of damage can be a lingering problem with a nasty cascading effect. All parts of your home could end up impacted by water damage thanks to a leaky roof. You could even get mold growth that becomes a major issue and threatens the structural integrity of your home.
If you have any doubts about your roof, you may want to get out the ladder and check it out before the winter weather arrives. Arkansas in the winter can be harsher than many people expect, so the earlier you can get on top of this the better. You don’t want to wait too long and find out the weather is simply too bad for you to get up on the roof.
Roof repair service can be an intimidating concept for many homeowners, synonymous with a big hit to the family budget. However, that does not need to be the case. There are some simple fixes you can take on yourself. You can fix tiny cracks and missing tiles on your own if you spot them early and are willing to do some DIY.
Of course, if you find major issues or just don’t feel comfortable working on your roof, you should hire professionals to ensure your roof is in good repair before winter arrives.
2. Make Sure the Heat Works
Another vital system for Arkansas in the winter is your home heating system. No matter what kind of system you have for heating and cooling your home, you want to make sure it is working well before winter arrives.
It can be easy to overlook this system. If it was working in summer, you might simply forget about it and assume it will work just as well in winter. However, it’s a good idea to give it a little test run before winter truly sets in so that you know if there are any issues with the heat in particular.
For example, if you have an HVAC system, you might discover that your system needs a little tune up because of debris that clogged it up in the fall. You may not feel comfortable cleaning out your HVAC on your own, as this can be a dangerous task. In that case, you should talk to HVAC contractors who can do things like clean out debris, change filters, and just give your system a general tune up.
Despite the beauty of Arkansas in the winter, it can also be very cold. That poses a health hazard to some people. It isn’t just a matter of comfort when it comes to heating your home.
Aside from HVACs, many people also use home heating oil for their heating. Again, you just want to ensure that your system is working properly and perhaps give it a test run before the cold weather really sets in. You’ll be grateful later for this preparation work.
3. Check Your Insulation
Related to heating is your insulation. You can have the greatest home heating system known to man, but if your insulation is poor it will hardly matter. Your system will have to work overtime, costing you tons of extract money on your electricity bills, if all that heat can just escape as soon as your system pumps it into your home.
There are some areas where insulation concerns are obvious. This would be places like the walls and roof. It can be tricky to actually check on that state of that insulation yourself, however. One of the best ways to know is simply to run your heat and see how well it holds it in. This is another instance where a test run of your heating system can come in handy.
Alternatively, you might already know you have some insulation issues around your home. Fortunately, these can often be rather easy to patch up on your own. You can get spray foam insulation from a hardware store and make some of the fixes on your own. If you think you have a major insulation issue, you may need to contact professionals who can help with that.
Insulation not only will keep you warm if you are in Arkansas in the winter, it can also save you money. You will probably have to heat your home often during the winter, which can be a major expense for homeowners, but having solid insulation can go a long way in keeping that heating bill manageable during cold months.
4. Seal Up the Windows and Doors
One of the biggest culprits, when we talk about heat escaping, are the windows and doors. Because they are made to open and close, windows and doors can often let hot air escape. It is easy for them to wear down over time, causing leaks that could end up being expensive when it comes to your heating bills.
You can test this easily, however. If you live in Arkansas in the winter, simply feel around your doors and windows on a cold day. You will often be able to notice with just your bare hand whether air is escaping that shouldn’t be. If you can detect a draft with just your hand, you likely have a problem that you’ll want to fix before winter sets in.
Fortunately, this is not hard to do. You can use simple weather stripping to seal up doors and windows and make them more air tight during the winter. This is a repair homeowners can absolutely do on their own without the help of a contractor who could cost a lot more time and money.
However, perhaps your doors and windows are due for an upgrade anyway. Fall or early winter is a great time to get a new door or install wood windows if that is something you’ve been considering anyway. The oncoming winter is a great excuse to upgrade doors and windows, which will also probably make them more air tight.
5. Fix Damage
Maybe this isn’t your first year in Arkansas in the winter. Perhaps in past years, you weren’t quite so diligent about preparing for the winter weather. Life happens and this is totally understandable. However, you shouldn’t let that trend continue.
You might have some past damage that you’re already aware of. You should do what you can to repair that damage before winter comes. This winter could exacerbate little issues around your home and turn them into far larger (and more expensive) problems down the road.
For example, you might know that your roof wasn’t in tip-top shape and that you probably have a little water damage. Now is the time to invest in residential water damage repair to patch up that problem before you experience Arkansas in the winter again and run into all those same problems. Another winter spent that way could make a tiny leak into a major water damage issue.
The same goes for other problems like leaky windows or a damaged heating system. Harsh winter weather will only make these problems worse and worse over time. The longer you go ignoring them the more likely they will be to become major issues that cost you a lot of time and money.
The more proactive you can be about your home the better. This applies not just to Arkansas in the winter, but Arkansas during all times of the year. Homeowners who stay on top of needed repairs always come out ahead.
6. Don’t Forget About Your Garage and Driveway
We have spent a lot of time talking about the home itself, but if you have a garage and driveway, you shouldn’t overlook those areas. It is easy to forget about those places because they are often outside the home. Many garages aren’t even connected to the home, making them easy to forget about.
However, a garage and driveway, like any other region of the house, can and will take a hit in Arkansas in the winter. Cold weather can crack a driveway. Moisture can sneak into a garage. You should treat these areas like any other parts of your home and make sure they are in good repair before nasty weather storms in to make problems worse.
The garage door is especially susceptible to damage. It moves a lot and takes the brunt of a lot of nasty weather. It can get damaged over time and not work as well. The last thing you want to find out in Arkansas in the winter is that your garage door won’t open anymore because it is damaged.
If you have doubts about your garage door, find local garage door companies who might be able to help you. Cold weather will only put more stress on the mechanism that makes the door open and close, so give that a close look before winter arrives. You might also give the door a nice fresh coat of paint just to help seal it against moisture and repair small nicks and cracks. It’s normal for a garage door to take a bit of a beating, but that’s also why it’s so important to repair it.
The driveway is a different matter. Moisture is your enemy here, especially when that moisture has a chance to freeze. Ice can cause cracks and even potholes in your driveway. You don’t want to be driving over that again and again. That not only means a damaged driveway, but also potentially a damaged car.
If your driveway has cracks and holes, contact asphalt paving contractors who can seal those up before winter arrives. The cold weather, which allows water to freeze, can really exacerbate those kinds of problems and lead to far larger issues.
7. While You’re There, Consider Your Car
While we’re here, we might as well mention the car. If you live in Arkansas in the winter, you will probably rely on your car to get around. That means you need to know you can rely on that vehicle even in bad weather.
If you can, get a tune up before winter arrives. Things like engine repair, fluid replacement, and auto brake repair are crucial if you’re going to be using your car a lot. It is extremely dangerous to drive in the snow if your car isn’t in good repair.
The consequences of this can be far-ranging, as well. You don’t want to end up getting in an accident and needed a car accident lawyer because your car skidded on black ice and you couldn’t stop. That is not a happy outcome for anyone involved. That’s why it’s a good idea to spare a thought for any vehicles you own while you are getting your home ready for the winter.
Arkansas in the winter can be just as stunning and beautiful as Arkansas in the summer, spring and fall. However, because of nasty winter weather and hazards, it’s a good and necessary thing to prepare your home before the cold weather arrives. This will not only grant you peace of mind, it will also allow you to enjoy the season instead of dreading it.
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