The frigid winter season can be chilly and magical, but it also sends us indoors for several months at a time waiting out heavy snow and icy conditions. If you want to kick back during the season, it’s best to get your winter prep done sooner rather than later. Keeping up with your home’s winterization process allows you to make the most of your winter — and stay warm and safe. Here are a few things to add to your to-do list to make sure you're prepped and ready to go this winter season.
Clean Your Gutters and Check Your Roof
During the fall, your roof and gutters will likely accumulate piles of dead, wet leaves. That’s all good while the temperatures are mild, but as the days get colder, those leaf piles could harden, freeze, and block your gutters’ ability to drain water away from the roof. Cleaning your gutters early — before the weather gets too bad — will allow your roof and gutter system to function as designed, preventing any water build-up or potential for roof leakage.
Stock Up on Shovels, Ice Scrapers, and Gas
It might sound obvious, but having shovels, a snow blower, and an ice scraper for your car when the snow hits will make your life much easier. Are your shovels sturdy? Does your snow blower have gas? Do you have salt for your sidewalk and driveway? Having all these materials before the first big snow prevents you from endangering yourself trying to get them after the first big snow. Make sure to have sturdy boots and thick, waterproof gloves as well.
Weatherstrip and Re-Caulk Doors and Windows
Weatherstripping is a process that involves sealing the spaces between windows and doors, ensuring that cold air can’t get into the house — nor can any warm indoor air get out. Caulking works similarly, filling in any excess gaps in tile, brick, or windows. You can also install a door sweep to prevent air from escaping from your feet.
Protect Pipes From Freezing
When the temperatures drop, it’s possible that your metal pipes might freeze, causing a blockage or a burst. This can be messy and costly. The first thing to do is to disconnect your outdoor faucets and hoses. It is also recommended to leave both outdoor and indoor faucets on so they can maintain a slow drip and water flow. For a more eco-friendly approach, wrap your pipes in insulating bubble wrap to maintain a reasonable temperature.
While you might be pretty handy when it comes to winterizing your house, there are a few places where getting a professional involved is recommended. You should have an HVAC technician check your furnace to ensure everything is working properly. If you have trees in your yard, consider calling a landscaping service to trim any ill-positioned branches that could fall in the winter.
Plug Unused Chimneys
If you have a house with a chimney or fireplace that you don’t use, an easy way to plug that space during the winter is using an inflatable chimney balloon to block out cold air and prevent debris from falling in during the winter. Even if you don’t use your fireplace often, it’s a good idea to get a professional chimney sweep to clean it annually to keep that area of your house safe and intact.
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