How to Winterize Your Home and Community
The winter cold can wreak havoc on your home or neighborhood, which is why proper weatherization before the weather gets too cold is a must. Check out these different ways residents, HOAs and property management companies can help winterize homes and neighborhoods.
Create an Emergency Kit and Plan
In the event of a winter storm, you may be trapped, which is why an emergency kit is a must. Ensure it includes a first aid kit, necessary medications, food, drinking water and anything else you may need if you are trapped in your house for a few days. It’s also important to create a plan on what to do if a storm strikes and some members of the family aren’t home. How will everyone communicate? Where will they go if they can’t get home?
Make a Warning System The HOA or property management company should have a way to get in contact with residents in the event of a storm or severe weather. Posting weather alerts on the website is an excellent idea. It is also beneficial to include some information on how residents can protect their own homes in a storm.
Check Insulation Improving insulation is one of the best ways to ensure a house is kept warm during the winter. Not only does this include the typical insulation found in the attic and walls, but it also includes weatherstripping and window plastic. If residents find any damaged, missing or lacking insulation, they should immediately add more. HOAs can help by offering information on what to check, when to check, and how to do the repairs.
Install Draft Guards Draft guards are another way to stop warm air from escaping. They fit under the door to prevent cold air from entering and hot air from escaping. While you’re at it, check the caulking around the door to make sure there are no gaps anywhere else.
Inspect Furnace and Chimney The home’s heating system plays a major role in keeping warm during the cold. Have a professional come and check your furnace and chimney to make sure they are in good condition for when the cold hits. The HOA or property management company can help by coordinating inspections. Everyone can get their furnace/chimney checked on the same day, which, like buying in bulk, may reduce the cost.
Create a Safe Place If the neighborhood has any common areas, such as club houses, the HOA can designate them as safe places for people to go during severe weather. If people forgot or didn’t have time to prepare for the weather, they can go there and stay safe and warm. It will take money from the homeowners to pay for any food/water stored at the safe place, but it will be worth it. The winter weather can often be fun, but it can also become dangerous fast. It’s important for every homeowner, HOA and property management company to ensure everyone is kept safe and sound during the cold weather.