It’s that time of year to begin thinking about the preparation of your home for the winter season. I know here in CT we had a surprise the other day with snow flurries. I’m not a winter person so seeing snow in October did not please me. Happily it didn’t last long.
But it could be here before you know it and if our homes (especially outside) are not prepared, you won’t like having to go outside in the freezing cold to prepare your home. I still have yet to go into my gardens and “dead-head” my perennials. I’ve been so busy that I just haven’t had the time to do it. But I have had to go outside in the freezing cold to work in my gardens and it was not enjoyable. So I know I have to make it a priority this week.
So what are some things you can do to prepare your home for the winter season?
- Check your roof to be sure there is no shingles mis-placed or broken.
- Check your flashing to be sure water cannot enter; especially as the temperature drop, water freezes and then there is a warm day and it will melt … right into your home.
- Clean out your gutters from all the leaves falling. You want to be sure water will flow freely in your downspouts. You can consider installing leaf guards on your gutters but that is an expense.
- Is your snow blower tuned up? Have you tried starting it? Starting it for the first time during a heavy snowfall is not the best time to find out it has problems.
- Turn off your outdoor waterspouts from the inside valves.
- Do you know where your main water valve is located in case of an emergency and you have to shut off all incoming water?
- Drain and put away your garden hoses.
- If you have any pipes exposed, be sure to insulate them.
- Be sure you clear away leaves and debris away from your foundation.
- Seal up all your entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house. Those critters are looking for a warm place to rest.
- Are there trees with branches that are too close to the house or your electrical wires? Be sure to trim them before them break off from heavy snow or ice.
- Move your potted plants indoors and if you have empty clay pots be sure to bring them into the garage or basement so they don’t crack from the extreme temperatures.
- Does your driveway, brick patio or wood deck need to be sealed? Now is the time to seal them to help prevent ice dams uplifting the your driveway, deck or patio.
- Check your windows and if there are drafts around them, be sure to caulk. Replace your screens with storm windows if you use them. If your windows are double paned, consider removing the screens for the winter. You’ll have a nice clear view.
- As long as the daytime temperature is in the 40’s, you still have time to wash the windows. Don’t have time to wash the windows, consider hiring a window washer. It is well work the cost.
- Is your fuel oil? Then be sure your furnace has been cleaned and is ready for the winter.
- Be sure there are no flammable items in the area of your furnace.
- Consider installing a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace.
- Is your home heated by a hot-water radiator, then be sure you bleed the valves and when water appears again, close them.
- Consider changing out your thermostat to a programmable one. This way you can adjust the temperature in your home for that time you are away.
- Be sure if you take a vacation that you leave the heat on to at least 55 degrees.
- Do you have a fireplace, be sure the chimney is capped or screened to prevent rodents from visiting you down the chimney?
- Test your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to be sure they work.
- Be sure to have extra batteries for your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Those batteries seem to always go in the middle of the night and the beeping can get quite annoying.
How’s that for a start? Anything missing on the list that you do to prepare your home for the winter? Then please post. We’d love to add it to the list.
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