With cold weather on the way, there are a few tasks to help prevent emergencies and keep your house comfortable in freezing weather. Here are the most important chores to complete as you prepare your home for winter.
Prune Trees to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Inspect tree branches that might damage your property to get ready for winter. Dead and weakened branches pose a hazard, especially in icy weather. Prune branches that have grown too close to power lines and the chimney, and remove limbs that overhang the roof and driveway. Winter storms and harsh weather may cause these branches to break, leading to property damage.
Neglecting to drain water from your lawn’s sprinkler system can lead to cracked pipes and broken components when the water freezes. To drain the system, shut off the water supply and empty the water from the valves. You can also hire an irrigation contractor and have them use compressed air to remove water from the system.
Insulate Pipes to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Exposed pipes run the risk of bursting when the temperatures drop. The water in the pipes can freeze and expand, causing problems with the plumbing, leaks, and water damage. Pipe insulation is available at your local hardware store. Use it to wrap exposed pipes in the basement, attic, and garage.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
In the colder months, reverse the direction of your ceiling fans so they push warm air down into your living spaces. Ceiling fans should rotate clockwise in winter. This will keep your living spaces more comfortable and you’ll be able to heat your home more efficiently.
Inspect the Roof
Check the roof for loose, damaged, or missing shingles that might let water in during a winter storm. Hire a roofer to repair roof damage. Also, look for any breaks in the flashings around your chimney and vent stacks.
Preparing Your Home For Winter by Cleaning the Gutters
Clogged gutters don’t allow water to drain away from the home. If your guttering is filled with leaves, pine needles, and other debris, water will also get trapped there. When temperatures drop, the water will freeze, causing damage to the gutters, roof, or shingles. Using a ladder to access the channels, scoop the debris out to clean the gutters so that water drains easily.
Caulk and Weatherstrip Around Windows and Doors
Inspect your door and window frames as you’re preparing your home for winter. Check for spaces where you feel airflow. Silicone caulk is a great product for filling cracks; it holds up well against the elements and won’t shrink. Adhesive weatherstripping is easy to apply and fills up gaps around doors.
Plan Ahead With Graphite Lubricant for Locks
Powdered-graphite lubricant comes in handy when it’s cold outside. Add the lubricant to door locks to help them withstand the cold of winter. Spray the product directly into the door lock so the lock pins don’t stick or cause problems when the temperature drops below freezing.
Clean the Fireplace
Prevent chimney fires by removing flammable materials from the flue. Hire a professional chimney sweep to remove soot, animal nests, and creosote from the chimney. This is a maintenance service that should be done annually.
Follow these tips to get your home ready for potentially freezing temperatures. Your house will stay in better condition if it is prepared for winter.