As a transitional season, fall is the perfect time to prepare yourself and your home for the inevitable cold weather that lies ahead. Just as your car needs snow tires and you need to buy a warm weather jacket, your home also needs to be taken care of to ensure that it is prepared for the harsh weather to come. Here are some tips that will help you prepare your home for winter.
Starting with the exterior of the house, there is a lot of work to be done to prepare your home for winter. Make sure that you clean the gutters out before the snow falls. It is imperative to unclog your gutters to avoid leaks that can cause damage to your home. Do an overall visual inspection of your roof to make sure that shingles are secure. Furthermore, look over your gates, fences and stone walls to check that they are secure so that they do not blow over or fall off during a winter storm. While you are inspecting your yard, check that trees around the house are not threatening wires and that there are no cracks in your driveway, paths or sidewalks. Cracks can invite water that will cause immense damage during the cold winter.
After completing the exterior inspection of your house, you can move onto the indoor checklist. Firstly, check your windows for any signs of drafts. A common trick is to hold a candle to your windows to determine if there is a breeze or not. If you find a draft, coat the window frame with paintable acrylic caulking so that you can match the interior colour of your home. You can also install storm windows or simply cover the windows with plastic to keep the cold air out. Next, make sure that you check the seals around all doors. If a door is not sealed properly, purchase weather stripping to put around the door to stop the wind from seeping in. Although these might seem like minor problems, they will save you from battling the winter cold each night and will keep your heating and energy bills down.
As the temperature begins to fall and wearing a sweater no longer provides enough warmth, it is time to turn up the heat. This is the ideal time to have your heating system inspected. Additionally, it is important to replace the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms. Many people choose to do so when the clocks go back for a point of reference.
Although it symbolizes the end of a great season, summer vehicles and lawn mowers need to be properly stored for the winter. Fill gas tanks with fuel, add fuel stabilizer and let it run for approximately five minutes so that the stabilizer can run through the system. Then make sure that you replace the oil, remove the spark plug, and spray the cylinder with a small amount of oil to avoid moisture.
Out with the old and in with the new! It is now time to bring out those dreaded snow blowers and snow shovels and prepare to spend some quality time getting rid of snow this winter.
Whether you dread the cold winter or you cannot wait to finally hit the slopes, it is important for homeowners to use the remaining months of fall to prepare for the chilly months ahead.