With the rapidly falling leaves and shorter days, it’s quite clear that the cold months of winter are well on their way. In fact, the first snowfall may be just around the corner, and it is very important to prepare your home for this possibility. Be proactive this season, and face the cold force of winter head-on with the organizational technique of a home “winterizing” checklist, ensuring the most damage-free, painless winter yet.
These five simple tips are just what you need to embrace the chilling winter wind and falling snow with open arms…and a sealed-tight front door. Whether it is a basic roof cleanup, adding insulation to your doors and windows, or simply storing patio furniture, “winterizing” your home will avoid potential damages, save you money and help to melt away any winter worries you may have.
A Winter Wonderland
There’s plenty to do outside of your home before winter is in full swing. Clear your property of any debris or remains of the fall such as leaves, branches and patio furniture. Heavy snowfall may cause large branches around the house to hang down or fall. This being said, make sure to trim them back in order to protect both your home’s exterior and your own safety. Garden hoses and sprinkler systems should be drained. The DIY Network discusses the common danger of bursting pipes, and advises all homeowners to lessen this winter occurrence by investing in heat tape for certain exposed pipes. After completing these tasks, don’t forget to clean off your central air conditioning unit before covering for the season.
Up on the Rooftop
An exposed roof is perhaps the most important part of your home to prepare for protection from the icy winter months. Make sure to eliminate any leftover autumn debris such as leaves or sticks. This extra weight combined with the weight of a heavy snowfall could potentially damage the roof and overall exterior of your home. According to The Huffington Post, it is also extremely critical to clean out your gutters, which will lessen the chance of corrosion of siding, foundation and ceilings. This simple task could end up saving you thousands of dollars in home repairs.
Heat it up
Finding a way to keep warm is probably the first thing to come to mind when thinking of winter. About Home suggests checking the thermostat in order to achieve the greatest heat in the most energy-efficient setting. Make sure both this and your furnace are functioning properly before use. It is also highly recommended to replace the furnace filter. Other ways to stay warm can be found by searching your home for tiny areas such as holes or cracks, where large amounts of heat can escape. The basement ceiling and attic floor are two other spaces in your home that must be well insulated.
Heat it up… Naturally
A match and flame seems like the most logical way to warm up the rooms in your home without spending lots of money on your electric bill. It’s not as simple as you may think, though. Before heating up that first fire, make sure the interior of your fireplace is devoid of any debris or obstructions such as nests, squirrels or other animals. About Home also reminds you to check the condition of the flue damper by opening and closing it a few times. Another helpful tip is to have your chimney fully cleaned by a professional every few years, which will guarantee a safe and cozy first fire of the season!
Windows and Doors
Drafty doors and windows are perhaps the most chilling part of your home during the winter. Zillow advises combating this issue with the use of weatherstripping placed along doorjambs and between cracks and small openings in your home’s windows. Eliminating door drafts can also be fixed with door sweeps, or flexible rubber strips that are used to seal the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor. By following these draft prevention tips, you’ll be toasty, cozy and warm in your home all winter long.