Start Preparing Your Home for the Winter

10 Best Proactive Steps to Prepare Your Home for the Winter

 

Tune up your furnace and humidifier. Call in a professional to make sure that your furnace is working and up to standards. With the high price of natural gas and electricity, routine maintenance can save you money on your monthly bill.

Turn off water to outside spigots and outdoor showers, then open them from the outside to let any remaining water drain out. If you don’t, you could find frozen water within the pipes causing the water line to burst.

 

 

Check your flues. Animals such as squirrels and birds have destructive attractions to flues of fireplaces, furnaces and water heaters. Since these flues are meant to carry away harmful toxic fumes, you don’t want them clogged up.

Clear your outdoor drainage system. You don’t want water pooling next to your foundation causing weak cracks and flooding. 

Clean your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause damage in multiple ways; the frozen water can weigh them down until they sag or fall off. The water can overflow and freeze against siding. The overflow on the outside can then form icicles that droop dangerously overhead.

Check your siding/exterior walls. There are many places that your exterior wall is breached; where water lines, phone lines and cable t.v. lines come into the house. Caulk around these openings as needed. Also check your siding, repairing and sealing any that have come loose.

Check your snow blower. If you see anything of concern, take it to a pro. And make sure to have fresh gas on hand for the season.

Caulk your windows and weather-strip your doors. The caulking that seals the window within the window frame, and the window frame within the wall, could dry and flake away, leaving openings for the cold to perforate into your house. Caulk as needed around the individual frames and around the perimeter of the window unit. Replace any faulty or inadequate weatherstripping, and don’t forget the door sweep (at the bottom of the door, sealing the door and threshold).

Shop for a generator. If you’ve struggled through a winter blackout, or even if you haven’t yet, you might want to buy some backup protection. Also, if already have a generator, it is highly recommended to get it serviced annually.

Check your fire extinguisher. Soon it will be the season of fires in the fireplace, candles in the window and holiday decorations around the house. Don’t go into the winter without working fire extinguishers, and make sure everyone in the household knows where they are and how they work.