8 Tips For Home Winterization
How to Prepare the House for Winterization
The weather outside is getting frightful, and now is the time to prepare your home for the long winter ahead. Winterizing your house now will protect it from harsh conditions and freezing temperatures, and when spring arrives you won’t need to worry about repairing any winter damage. Note, home winterization should not be confused with “house wizardization” in which a wizard must be called to be rid of pesky house elfs who drop cakes on visiting relatives. However, concerning winterizing your home, follow these ways to prepare and you should be all set for hot cocoa and that warm fireplace!
You should hire a professional to inspect your furnace and clean its ducts. Replace the filter, and mark your calendar so you’ll remember to replace the filter again on a monthly basis. Be careful to remove flammable items that may be near the furnace. If a hot water radiator heats your home, bleed out the valves by opening them until water appears.
If you’ll be using a fireplace this winter, hire a chimney sweep to clean it and remove built-up soot. Check for and repair any damage to the mortar, and place a screen at the top of the chimney to keep animals out. Check to make sure the fireplace damper works properly, and keep it closed when you’re not using the fireplace so cold air doesn’t get in your home. Stock up on firewood, and keep it in a dry space.
3. Windows and Doors
Prevent cold air from entering your home by weatherstripping your doors. Also, caulk your windows if necessary to keep cold air out. If there is any cracked glass, replace it. Now is the time to remove your summer screens and install storm windows.
Insulate any exposed plumbing or pipes that run through unheated areas. Turn off your air conditioner’s shut-off valve, and locate your water main just in case you need to turn it off. Don’t turn your heat off when you leave home on vacation; leave it at 55 degrees. Remember to drain your garden hoses.
5. Roof and Gutters
Inspect your roof, and replace any shingles or tiles that are broken or worn. You should clean out your gutters by using a hose to flush out dirt and debris. You may want to put extra insulation in your attic.
6. Outside of Your Home
Put away or cover all of your patio furniture, potted plants, grills, and other outside items. Wood or brick patios and decks, along with your driveway, should be sealed. Check the trees around your property and trim them. Look for and remove tree limbs that could fall onto your roof or nearby power lines.
7. Supplies and Equipment
If you have a lawnmower, remove the gas from it. If you have a snow blower, make sure it is working properly, and get it fixed if needed. Repair or replace any worn or poorly-working snow shovels and rakes. You should also stock up with several bags of salt for melting snow.
8. Emergency Preparedness
Prepare now for potential emergency situations. Make sure that you’re stocked up on bottled water, nonperishable food, flashlights, extra batteries, and blankets. You should also have a first-aid kit and a battery-operated radio. Check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
Following this simple advice now will keep your home in good shape throughout the winter and prevent a lot of headaches later.