The dog days of summer are behind us, the days are growing shorter and, before you know it, winter will once again be upon us. Even though it comes around every year at this time, many still find themselves waiting until the last minute to address those final outside projects in preparation for winter. Before the temperature begins its decent into the dark days of winter, take advantage of those few remaining sunny days and consider these ten tips to ensure your home is ready for the coming change in weather.
1. Clean Out Your Stove Or Fireplace
Before striking that match for the first fire of the season, perform a thorough cleaning of the flue area of your chimney. It is advised that you have a professional check the condition of your chimney to minimize potential chimney fires.
2. Clean Those Gutters
Make sure all leaves and other debris are removed from your gutters before the rains return. Consider taking a garden hose and washing down both the gutter and downspouts. Also make sure the water is properly draining away from the foundation. Once winter returns, any water held back in your gutters by a plugged downspout could freeze and place an unnecessary strain on the gutters themselves.
3. Inspect Your Heating System
Depending on the type of heating system your home has, it is always a good idea to be proactive rather than reactive. If it is a furnace system, make sure it is properly cleaned, the parts are in good working order and the filter has been changed. It might even be a good idea to have a professional inspect it for you in case there is something you may have missed. If your heating system has seen better years, now could be the time to upgrade. After all, you don’t want to freeze this winter!
4. Store All Lawn Furniture
It is always a good idea to store your lawn furniture for the winter months ahead. Somewhere around the middle of October is a good time to accomplish this task. By doing so, you will protect your investment from the ravages of winter and get many more years of service from your outdoor furnishings.
5. Inspect The Roof for Possible Loose Shingles
Because the roof is vital in keeping rain out of your house, it is also important that the covering on your roof is secure and in good condition. The number one cause of a leaky roof is damaged or loose shingles. It is not too late to inspect them and make the necessary adjustments before winter sets in. In addition to inspecting your roof, take a look at any tree limbs that might be hanging over your roof and trim them back to prevent potential damage during a snowstorm.
6. Drain Outside Water Spigots
Now is a good time to shut off any water supply to outside faucets and drain them to avoid potential freezing and then bursting after the freeze has passed.
7. Check The Weatherstripping Around Windows
It is believed that energy savings of up to 15 per cent can be realized when all doors and windows are properly weatherstripped. One way to check the efficiency of your current windows and doors is by means of a ‘paper test’. This involves shutting the door or window on a piece of paper. If you can then pull the paper out without tearing it, you will need to replace faulty weatherstripping.
8. Make Room In The Garage
Unless you have a storage building to put your lawn furniture, bicycles and gardening tools in, now would be a good time to clean out the garage to make room for these items. It is also a good idea to make enough room to store what the garage was meant for: your vehicles!
9. Repair Those Leaky Faucets
Now would be a good time to make a last run-through of all outside faucets, to ensure they are in good working order. This is where being proactive instead of reactive can save some money on repairs should a leaky faucet freeze during the winter months, only to break once the spring thaw happens. It is also a good idea to protect those faucets with foam insulation covers.
10. Inspect All Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
A rule of thumb is to inspect detectors twice yearly and replace all batteries annually. In addition, ensure you have sufficient detectors throughout the house. Simply follow the instructions given on all detectors to make sure they are fully functional.
Well, there you have it! By taking these 10 tips and applying them to your home, you will be better prepared for those long, cold winter days and nights just around the corner.
Maintaining your family’s security is an important fact of life and we want to give you the information you need to make wise decisions in all your home improvement ideas. We are always adding new pertinent home-related articles to our web site. Whether it has to do with organizing, remodeling or anything else having to do with your home, we are your one-stop location to help you with all your home improvement needs. For more home improvement tips and information, simply go to http://moorehomeschool.com where you will find a wide variety of articles addressing all things relating to the family and the home.