Autumn is the perfect time of year to start thinking about preparing your home for winter. As temperatures begin to drop, your home will require maintenance to keep it in tip-top shape through the winter.
Below are ten tips to help you prepare your home for winter:
1) Furnace Inspection
Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts.
Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly.
2) Get the Fireplace Ready
Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
If the chimney hasn't been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
3) Check the Exterior, Doors and Windows
Inspect exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes; seal them.
Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
4) Inspect Roof, Gutters & Downspouts
If your weather temperature will fall below 32 degrees in the winter, adding extra insulation to the attic will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof and causing ice dams.
Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home.
Replace worn roof shingles or tiles.
Clean out the gutters and use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris.
Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters or extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.
5) Service Weather-Specific Equipment
Drain gas from lawnmowers.
Service or tune-up snow blowers.
Sharpen ice choppers and buy bags of ice-melt / sand.
6) Check Foundations
Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
Tuckpoint or seal foundation cracks. Mice can slip through space as thin as a dime.
7) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater.
Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.
Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.
8) Prevent Plumbing Freezes
Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
Drain all garden hoses.
Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.
9) Prepare Landscaping & Outdoor Surfaces
Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
Plant spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over such as dahlias in areas where the ground freezes.
Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks.
10) Prepare an Emergency Kit
Buy indoor candles and matches / lighter for use during a power shortage.
Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book.
Buy a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.
Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location.
Prepare an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.
Content from Elizabeth Weintraub at about.com
Author:Cari Schwisow Phone: 360-878-5401 Dated: September 26th 2011 Views: 3,495 About Cari: I am pleased to be with RE/MAX Northwest, a highly respected and innovative real estate firm in Olym...
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"This is Lance Saunders, and buying a house with Cari was one of the most painless things that i have ever done. I have bought cars that were harder to buy than our new house! i simply told Cari and Kim Harmon with Fairway Mortgage service what I had to work with and they made it happen for me with less than a total of $1000 out of pocket. i would have bought a house a long time ago if i had known how easy it could be with the right people working for you. Thanx again Cari and Kim you ladies are awesome!