10 Simple Steps To Winterizing Your Home
Fall is in the air and the time change is just around the corner. It’s the season to begin preparations to winterize your home. By completing a checklist for 10 simple steps to winterizing your home, you will be prepared when rain, snow, ice and wind arrive.
Here are 10 Simple Steps to Winterizing Your Home:
1. Begin by inspecting your home from top to bottom. Look at your roof to make sure that no shingles are missing, check the gutters for any obstructions and examine the attic for any sign of leaks. Downspouts and flashing should also be examined to make sure that they are in proper condition and ready for winter.
2. Gaps, cracks and drafts are not your friends. Caulk or repair any gaps around doors, windows, trim and vents. Weatherstripping can be utilized around doors in order to prevent cold air from entering. Also make sure that all house siding is in good condition as any missing siding may cause additional drafts. If you do have an attic space, then you should check to make sure that it is properly insulated in order to avoid paying for unnecessary heating costs.
3. Clean, clean, clean. Now is the time to get your chimney cleaned, flush your water heater and clean or replace any furnace filters. If you do have a fireplace or woodstove, then start stocking up on firewood so you are ready when the cold temperatures hit.
4. Heat source maintenance. You should also have your furnace serviced annually to ensure that it is operating at its peak efficiency. In addition, all flammable material surrounding your furnace should be removed. If you have a thermostat in your home that is not programmable, consider switching it out for one that is in order to keep the temperature in the home more regulated.
5. Examine the foundation. Look for any cracks in the foundation as small pests and rodents can easily gain access through small spaces. Some mice can fit through cracks as thin as a dime. Be sure to rake away any debris or leaves from the foundation in order to make sure no water can seep into or under the foundation.
6. Don’t forget about the exterior of the home. Now is the time to plant spring bulbs and trim back trees. If you have a deck, driveway or walkway in need of sealing it isn’t too late to get the job done. Any potted plants should be moved to a more sheltered area in order to escape winter’s harsh conditions.
7. Get your equipment ready. While it’s time to start thinking about prepping your winter equipment, don’t forget to winterize lawnmowers and other summer gardening equipment by draining the gas. If you have a snow blower, then it may be time for a service. It’s also a good idea to have a few bags of ice-melt on hand.
8. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. With daylight savings coming to an end, it’s a good idea to test and install new batteries before going into winter.
9. Take preventative measures to make sure that your pipes are not in danger of freezing. Pipes can easily freeze when cold weather hits, so it’s necessary to know where your water main is in case you need to shut it off. All garden hoses and sprinkler systems should be drained. Any exposed pipes should be insulated, and if you have an air conditioning unit then the water shut off valve should be turned off and the pipes drained. Should you be away from the home make sure that the temperature doesn’t dip below a minimum of 55 degrees in the home otherwise your pipes are at an elevated risk for freezing.
10. Prepare an emergency kit. In case of a power outage or other unforeseen event, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit on hand. You should have flashlights with extra batteries, food and water (enough for three days), radio and a wrench/pliers in order to turn off utilities if necessary.
As temperatures begin to dip, it’s important to make sure that your home, probably the most expensive investment you have, is protected from Mother Nature’s harsh weather. By completing these 10 simple steps, you will be able to save money in the long run against costly repairs.
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