Whether we like it or not, Winter is around the corner. And for those of us in the Northeast or in the Midwest, it means bracing for snowstorms, freezing cold temperatures, and all of the other joys that come along with winter. Now, I don’t mind it too much and while I’m not a huge fan of shoveling snow; I can’t deny that sometimes winter does make for a breathtaking view. But that still doesn’t mean that I’m looking forward to everything else- especially the cold. And while we may do whatever we can to prepare ourselves for winter by breaking out the long sleeved clothing, thermals, etc; we should also be preparing our homes. But how do you start preparing your home for winter? Today I want to share a few key tips with you.
Indoor and Outdoor Tips for Preparing Your Home for Winter
Exterior Home Tips
1. Maintain Those Gutters
You want to make sure the gutters on your home are clear of debris. It gets especially bad after all the leaves fall from the trees, so make sure you wait until most of the leaves have fallen off. If you don’t clear your gutters, then you’ll likely end up with standing water and when that freezes it causes expansion. This wreaks havoc on everything from the lawn right down to the foundation of the house. So don’t let this minor inexpensive task slip through the cracks or you’ll be dealing with even bigger cracks, possibly right in your home’s foundation.
Gutter guards might be a good investment so you can avoid the ladder.
2. Trim Your Trees and Branches Back
Anything that is too close to power lines you want to trim back, especially if it’s a dead branch. You don’t need trees falling on your lines during the winter and leaving you without power.
3. Make Your Walkway Safe
When winter gets here it’s going to be hard enough to navigate slippery sidewalks without having to worry about the railing falling off or stepping in a large pot hole. If you mend these problems now, then you will save yourself a much larger repair in the future with much larger cracks and pot holes.
4. Inspect Your Roof
Make sure there are no worn places or holes. If you’re in an area that gets a lot of snow, the last thing you want is a roof collapse. Making sure your roof is sturdy will help to prevent that from happening. Look for loose shingles, gaps in the flashing (area where the roof and siding meet), and damaged mortar around the chimney. Call a professional and get any problems repaired ASAP.
5. Inspect the Walls
Look for cracks or loose or crumbling mortar. Check the windowsills for cracks. These will only get worse if left untreated, so get it looked at as soon as possible.
6. Paint or Wash the Siding on Your House
Depending on what’s on your house, repainting is a great way to protect the wood on your home. If you have siding on your house, then getting all of the muck and debris off the home will not only make it look beautiful, it is also good for the siding to be cleaned every so often.
7. Don’t Forget the Lawn
Making sure the final cut is done and that you have added plenty of seed to prevent the grass from getting unhealthy will give you the nicest, greenest, thickest lawn in the neighborhood.
Of course, while checking the outside of your home is important, checking the inside is equally important.
Interior Home Checklist
* Ensure pipes are well insulated to prevent burst pipes.
* Make sure you know where the water shut off valve is if you need to turn water off to prevent pipes from freezing.
* Check the furnace filter.
* Have the furnace professionally cleaned and given a once over, so when you’re ready to use it you don’t have to worry about it not coming on.
* Clean the ducts of your heating system.
* Get the chimney swept.
* Check your chimney’s flue to make sure it has a tight seal when closed.
* Get your humidifier ready. Replace the filters and check the plates and pads to ensure everything runs efficiently.
* Got a wood stove? Now’s a great time to inspect it.
* Check to make sure your CO monitors are properly working, and your smoke alarms. Now’s a good time to replace batteries.
* Caulk any holes you see in walls and put weather stripping around the windows and doors to keep the warm air in and cold air out.
* Change out screens for storm windows and storm doors.
* Repair any loose or damaged window frames or door frames.
* Do a general clean up around the house. Remove old newspapers and leftover hazardous material – get this stuff out of the house now.
* Check the attic insulation and make sure it’s not covering any vents or eaves of the house.
* Make sure there are no holes in any rodent vents you have to prevents critters from invading your home during the cold winter months.
* Check on your flashlights. Make sure the bulbs are good and you have fresh batteries in them.
It is so important to do all of these things to your home before the start of winter. If you don’t, then not only are you looking at potential high-cost repairs in the future – you also might be putting yourself at risk. So make sure your home is ready for another harsh winter by showing it the love it deserves.
What tips do you have for preparing your home for winter?