When winter arrives, you can expect colder temperatures and, depending on where you live, the possibility of snow. Protecting your home from harsh conditions will help you avoid costly mid-season repairs. Here are a few important things to do each fall to prepare your home for winter weather.
Prepare Your Home Before Winter Arrives
Check the Heating Systems
Whatever method you use to heat your home, perform a check-up and take care of maintenance to keep the heating system in good working order. Hire a professional to service the furnace once each year. Clean the chimney annually (or hire a chimney sweep) to remove leaves, twigs, animal nests, and creosote that could lead to a fire.
Early fall is a good time to schedule these services. If you have a central heating system, turn the system on when the nights start to get cool. This way, you can test the heating and verify everything is operating as expected.
Clean the Gutters to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Leaves, twigs, and other debris can clog the gutters and prevent them from draining properly. If water accumulates in the channels, it will overflow, seeping under roofing materials and behind the siding. In cold weather, water in the gutters can freeze, resulting in ice that damages the gutter or roofing. Clean the gutters in the fall to remove debris and allow water to flow freely away from your home.
Inspect the Roofing
You may need a ladder, but it’s important to check the condition of the roofing materials. Look for patches of missing, curled, or broken shingles. Make time to replace damaged shingles before the weather gets too cold. While you’re examining the roof, inspect the flashings. These are the thin metal strips around your chimney and vents. Bent, damaged, or rusting flashing can lead to a leak.
If you’re unable to inspect the roof or notice areas that concern you, call a professional to get an expert opinion on the condition of your home’s roof.
Put Garden Tools Away to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Winterize your lawn mower by draining it and covering it with a tarp, or bring it inside during the colder weather. Drain the sprinklers and garden hoses so they don’t burst when the temperature drops below freezing. Disconnect the lawn irrigation system and store these pieces indoors.
Insulate Your Home
Check the attic to verify the insulation is in good condition. Over time, the insulation can shift or become damaged by rodents or insects. Fall is a great time to replace missing or damaged insulation to prepare your home for winter. Inspect around doors and windows, looking for drafts. Seal air leaks with weatherstripping or caulk. You’ll better insulate your home and reduce energy bills.
Preparing your home for winter is important to avoid problems during harsh weather. Keep your living spaces healthy and comfortably warm by taking steps to get the house ready for cold weather.