While it seems that our summer-like weather just won’t end…winter is coming and now is the time to prepare your home for those frosty months!
Let’s take a look at what you will want to do for the outside of your home first.
- Gut(ter) check! Yes those pesky gutters need a lot of maintenance (unless you have the fancy covered gutters). As the leaves begin to fall off the trees they often find their way into your gutters and this will cause clogs and if not cleared could lead to the dreaded ice damn! Give those gutters a good cleaning mid-fall and then a check just before Old Man Winter moves back in.
- Check the deck. If you have a deck now is the time to hit it with a fresh coat of sealant. This will ensure that it survives the brutal assault of wind, sleet, snow, etc.
- Remedy the roof. This summer wasn’t too bad weather wise, but it’s always a good idea to have your roof inspected for any missing or loose shingles. And many professional contractors can also perform an infrared roof inspection that will show any “hot/cold spots” that indicate a need for better insulation.
- Whip those windows into shape! Obviously having new energy efficient double-paned windows will provide the best insulation for your home. BUT not everyone can afford new windows…that’s where weatherstriping and caulk come into play! Check the frame around your current windows for any gaps or a breeze. Then fill in with weatherstriping or caulk. This will seal up those pesky leaks. You can also put up insulated curtains to cozy up your home.
- Wind down the waterworks. If you have a lawn sprinkler system, now is the time to winterize it so you don’t run the risk of frozen pipes or cracks in the system. You will also want to remember to shut off the outdoor faucets and remove and drain any outdoor hoses.
Now let’s take a tour of the inside!
- Tune up your heating system. Now is the time to replace the filter in your furnace and test the system before the frigid winds of winter arrive. It’s much easier to schedule maintenance/repair before you need the system!
- Sweep out those chimneys! Whether your do it yourself or hire a chimney sweep, now is the time to clear out any old ash, creosote and debris that may have moved in over the summer. DO NOT START A FIRE UNTIL YOU HAVE CLEANED THE CHIMNEY! You will also want to check the integrity of the flue to ensure you have a tight seal when it is closed.
- Observe your outlets. No, they are not going to do a fancy jig, but they can be a sneaky source of a cold draft. If you feel a breeze around the outlets/light switches now is the time to add insulation to help cut down on your heating costs.
- Inspect your winter gear. Now is the time to check your snowblower, shovels, ice melt supply. If you need to replace, repair or purchase, doing so now will guarantee that you have these items on hand when that first storm hits. You should also check your “storm” boxes to ensure that that your emergency flashlights work, there is ample water for your family, plenty of batteries, etc.
- And don’t forget to check your smoke/CO2 detectors!
These are a great starting point to get you and your home ready for the winter. A little effort now, will save you time and money later.