How to Get Your Home Ready for the Winter

On November 23, 2007 by Lauren

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Don’t let the cold weather catch you and your family off-guard. It’s essential for you to prepare for the winter before the first snow fall of the year happens so you can avoid potential problems your house might be hiding. Here are several tips to make sure that your home is ready for the changing seasons.

First, make sure your heating systems are professionally checked and serviced at the start of each heating season. You’ll also want to inspect the filters every month to see if it’s dirty or needs replacement. Also look into your heat registers for accumulated dust, debris, or lint. If you don’t know where these are located, ask a technician to help you out.

If you have a fireplace and intend to use it, make sure that it’s checked by a certified chimney sweep. This is to make sure that there are no cracks in your chimney or creosote build-ups, which is the primary cause of chimney fires. The chimney sweep also makes sure your damper is working properly.

To reduce your winter heating bills, increase the insulation in attics to your country’s recommended minimum. An attic insulation calculator will help you determine the thermostat you need.

Inspect your water pipes because they have a tendency to freeze while you’re away, then thaw and flood your house. Water damage is incredibly costly so to prevent your pipes from freezing over, make sure they receive adequate insulation. You can do that by putting on foam sleeves, fiberglass, or wrapping them with insulating tape. You can also install freeze-proof faucets, which can be found at your local hardware store.

Check your roof and gutter for snow, leaves, and needles. Inspecting your roof is very important to avoid expensive emergency repairs. Watch out for loose shingles or damaged mortar around your chimney. To avoid having to go up the roof yourself, you can use a pair of powerful binoculars. Make sure your downspouts flow freely; if they aren’t, flush out the downspout with a high-pressure hose. Finally, look for sags in your gutters as this will make water overflow and spill next to the foundation. You can repair this by bending the brackets upwards or installing additional support where needed.

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