A Checklist to Make Sure Your Home Is Ready For Winter

Winter is coming! Today I’ll discuss what you, as a homeowner, should be doing in order to prepare your house for the cold season.

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My wife and I recently put together a list of things that we need to do to prepare our home for the cold season ahead. We agreed that it’s a good idea to create a set schedule that we can follow each year. With winter approaching rapidly, there are a few important and ancillary tasks you can be doing to protect your home.

  • Remove your hoses from outside faucets. If you leave the hose on the faucet and water collects in the hose, it can freeze and cause your pipes to burst inside or outside your house. This can happen even if it’s turned off. Remove your hoses, drain them, and store them somewhere inside, away from the elements. If you have the newer style of faucets that self-drain, you’re good to go. If you don’t, you need to turn off the water to that faucet from the inside of the house before temperatures dip below freezing.
  • Clean your fireplace. Whether it’s a wood-burning unit or a gas one, you should schedule annual maintenance checks on it. Right now is the best time to clean your chimney; when it comes time to actually use it, you wouldn’t want to start a chimney fire. For gas units, I recommend scheduling your annual maintenance checks for the summer. This will mean you’re ready to go when you need it, and you might even save a little money by scheduling the check in the off-season.

When I need my fireplace cleaned, I call Mr. T’s Fireplace Services. To schedule an appointment, visit www.MrTsFireplaceServices.com or call (608) 535-2473.

  • Stock up on winter supplies now. Get your supplies together and before the snow and ice hit, including:
    • Shovels
    • Window scrapers
    • Salt for your walkways
    • Flashlights in case of power outages
    • Wood for the fireplace (if applicable)
  • Change your furnace filters. Also, if your furnace hasn’t been serviced recently, this is a great time to have that done. Winter is the time you’ll need it most, so make sure it’s ready beforehand.
  • Shut down your sprinkler system. Failing to shut down your sprinklers and blow the water out of the line puts those systems at risk of freeze damage. This will be costly to repair come springtime when you’ll want to use them again.
  • Clean out your gutters. Once all of the leaves have fallen from the trees, you should have your gutters serviced—all the wet matter in your gutters weighs them down, and if it freezes, the damage could get worse. To get your gutters cleaned before winter hits, call the guys at Action Professional Window & Gutter Cleaning Service. They will clean windows, gutters, and even power wash your home. Visit their website at www.ActionProfessional.com or call (608) 838-4414.

Right now is the best time to clean your chimney; when it comes time to actually use it, you wouldn’t want to start a chimney fire.

  • Have an exterminator treat your house. As the weather gets colder, all sorts of critters will be drawn to your home for the warmth and safety. Pest treatment will prevent them from making their way in and establishing a home inside your home.

There are many great pest control services, but one we’ve used and had great service with was Kwik Kill. Another I’ve used in my own home is Terminix.

  • Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Regularly check and replace the batteries in your units, and if they’re more than 10 years old, it’s time to get new ones.
  • Get rid of dryer lint. Dryer lint is flammable and could very well cause a house fire, so hire someone to make sure that your ducts are clean and clear. In a future video, I’ll  further discuss dryer lint and the problems it can cause in more detail.
  • Seal/repair your windows. If you have storm windows/doors, now would be the time to get them ready for the winter with plastic seal, under-door draft stoppers, or just replace them with a more energy-efficient brand.
  • Take a look at your landscaping. The fall is a great time to have your lawn aerated so that it will come back healthy in the spring. You might take some time to trim and prune your trees and shrubs as well.

These are just some of the items to cover before winter arrives in full swing. If you’d like a more detailed list, check out this blog post.

For any other questions you have, feel free to reach out to me. I’m always here to help.

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