As temperatures dip and the chilly fall air sets in, winter isn’t far behind. Now’s the time to prepare your home for the long winter ahead and unpredictable New England weather. Winterizing your home now can create energy efficiency, prevent fire damage concerns, and protect it from harsh conditions and freezing temperatures. When spring arrives, you won’t need to worry about repairs from winter damage due to frozen pipes or ice dams. Here are easy ways to winterize your home this and every year.
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 any flammable items located near the furnace. If a hot water radiator heats your home, bleed out the valves by opening them until water appears to prevent costly water damage.
If you’ll be using a fireplace this winter, have the chimney professionally cleaned to 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 wildlife and nuisance animals out. Make certain the fireplace damper works properly, and keep it closed when you’re not using the fireplace to prevent cold air in your home. Stock up on firewood and store it in a dry space.
Your Windows and Doors
Prevent cold air from entering your home by weatherstripping doors and applying caulk around windows. Replace any cracked glass and remove summer screens on windows and install storm windows and doors.
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 or holiday getaways but leave at 55 degrees to avoid frozen pipes. Remember to drain your garden hoses and check outdoor spigots for damage.
Your Roof and Gutters
Inspect your roof and replace any broken or worn shingles and tiles, and consider adding extra insulation in your attic. Clean out your gutters to fully remove dirt, mold and debris like leaves, branches and pine needles.
The Outside of Your Home
Put away or cover all of your patio furniture, potted plants, grills, and other outdoor items. Wood or brick patios and decks, along with your driveway, should be sealed. Check the trees around your property and trim branches that could fall on and damage your home or nearby power lines during strong storms.
Supplies and Equipment
If you have a lawnmower, remove the gas from it before it’s stored away for winter. Make certain snow blowers work properly and receive a yearly tune-up. Repair or replace any worn or poorly-working snow shovels and rakes and consider purchasing a roof rake to remove heavy snow.
Prepare now for potential emergency situations and power outages. Make sure that you’re stocked up on bottled water, nonperishable food, flashlights, extra batteries, blankets, and have a first-aid kid and battery-operated radio. Check that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly.
Following these simple steps will keep your home in good shape throughout the winter and prevent a lot of headaches later like costly water damage or fire concerns.
If you need water removal and cleanup, smoke damage cleanup, or board ups and tarping services from winter weather, you can trust the professionals at ServiceMaster By Mason. We’re available 24/7 to restore your property and peace of mind from winter weather concerns.