Winterize Your Home

Winterizing Image of Window

As winter officially approaches on December 21st the weather is already turning colder in our area. Some have already experienced freezing temperatures, and the daylight hours are getting shorter. Warm weather grasses are not growing in most places so the need regularly to maintain the lawn is over for the season. Now is a great time to winterize your home. One of the very first places you should start is to make sure that your outdoor water pipes are protected against freezing. In the past many people would take cloth and wrap their outside faucets. More recently there are inexpensive Styrofoam covers available for purchase that can be placed over faucet heads that extend outside the house. These covers are easy to install and can be reused if care is taken with them.

Another area you should look at while winterizing your home is your gutters. Are they still firmly attached to your home? Do any of them show signs of deterioration, or leaking? If the gutters are loose, or deteriorated you should get them repaired, or replaced soon. When was the last time they were checked for debris, or cleaned? They should be checked for falling leaves and other items and cleaned as needed.

What about weather-stripping and caulking? Outside air entering your home through cracks can really run up your power bill and provide entrances for pests. You should check around your doors, windows and other parts of your home to see if anything needs to be repaired, or replaced. If it does now is the time to do it.

Do your windows and doors need repair, or replacing? If so get that taken care of soon so that you will have a sturdy barrier to the outside elements. Replacing your HVAC filters is another great thing to do so that your system operates with less strain.

If you have a fireplace you may need to have your chimney looked at by a professional before you begin using your fireplace for the year. You do not want to have an uncontrolled fire due to something caught in the chimney, or a crack that has occurred there. Speaking of fire, you should make sure leaves and other potential flammable objects are not resting against your home to reduce the risk of a fire.

Some final tasks of winterizing your home should include making sure the roof is clear of debris, hedges are trimmed, the brick / wood / siding is in good shape, and the foundation is secure. Additionally, the ground next to the foundation should be slopped away from it for better drainage. Once you have completed these tasks your home should be ready for whatever winter may bring.