Can your home withstand whatever winter has in store for us? Check out the items listed below to make sure your home can survive the cold.
- Turn off the outside water valves and make sure the lines are drained. Detach hoses and move them to sheds or indoors. Insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing and the nightmare of a burst pipe.
- Do not store firewood next to your house. You do not want termites.
- Have the chimney checked before you use it.
- Check batteries for carbon monoxide detectors, particularly around gas heat. It’s also a good time to check the batteries on smoke detectors. Make sure your fire extinguisher is still operational.
- Clean your gutters and downspouts. Clogged drains can cause ice dams to form if water freezes and backs up, possibly causing water to seep into the interior of your home.
- Make sure the gutters have not pulled away from the house. If unattended, heavy rains can cause water to enter your house because there is no gutter from which the water flows.
- Check your roof for cracked or curling shingles. Check the ground for shingle granules. Look over your roof to see if there are any missing shingles that may have blown off.
- Make sure tree branches do not brush against the roof, and trim trees and landscaping generally. A heavy snow could cause branches to break.
- Take a walk around your house and look for any obvious leaks and seal them with weather-resistant caulk.
- Check your insulation to see if you would benefit by adding more. Call in a professional for an evaluation: it is money well spent.
- Check the furnace now before the really cold weather hits. It’s important to have your furnace checked and cleaned annually by a professional. You should replace your filters regularly: a dirty filter prevents airflow and reduces the efficiency of your unit.
- Put up storm windows for extra insulation. If you do not have storm windows and you can feel a draft, consider replacing them with updated windows that are energy efficient.
- Reverse the direction of the blades on ceiling fans. By reversing the direction, air close to the ceiling is forced down, and the warm air is circulated into the living space.
The exterior of your home provides safety and security not only for you and your family, but also protects the interior of your home. Make it a priority to make sure you are ready for the winter.