With winter fast approaching, now is the best time to prepare your home for the cold weather. Don’t wait until it is too late to make the necessary repairs. Make sure that you have a safe and sound house come wintertime. Here are some must-dos:
Inspect Your Fireplace and Chimney
Before winter comes, make sure that your fireplace is free from any leaks. If there are leaks, seal them with a foam sealant. Don’t forget to inspect the fireplace damper. If a fire is not burning, dampers should be closed shut. Now is also the perfect time to have your chimney swept. Cold weather can cause severe damage to your chimney masonry.
Check Smoke Detector Batteries
While wildfires hit during the summer season, housefires are more common during freezing weather. Fire is often caused by malfunctioning heating systems. According to FEMA, more than 35,000 fires recorded were due to heating problems. For this reason, it is best to check that your smoke detector batteries are working. It will also do you good to check if your Allstate home insurance or whichever insurance you have, covers fire damage to your property. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
Repair Gutters and Downspouts
If your gutters are leaking, make sure to have them repaired before snow, and heavy rains come. If there are no leaks, make sure there is no blockage by clearing leaves and other debris.
Inspect Roof for Holes and Slipping Roof Tiles
While checking your gutters, take the time to check your roof as well. Make sure that all roof tiles are in place. Loose tiles can easily get displaced when a strong wind or heavy rain comes.
Have Your Heating System Serviced
To ensure that you’ll have a comfortable winter, have your heating system serviced. Most homeowners fail to do this, thinking that boiler service is only necessary when it runs into an issue when, in fact, it should be checked annually.
Install Outdoor Lights
If you haven’t gotten around to installing your outdoor lights, do them now. It’s best to have ample outdoor lighting when winter comes to prevent slips and falls during heavy snows. Replace broken light bulbs as necessary.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans, reverse their direction come wintertime. They should be moving clockwise to allow the warm air to go down while pulling the colder air upwards.
Insulate Your Pipes
To make sure that your pipes don’t expand and burst as a result of the cold weather, make sure to wrap them with rubber sleeves or insulate them with fiberglass covers.
Winterize Your Windows
Windows are always exposed to harsh weather. That said, they must be in their best shape before winter. Winterizing them ensures that they can do their job of keeping the cold air out and the warm air in. To do this, you might want to clean your windows thoroughly so you can easily spot any damage. Make sure the frames are free from gaps and drafts. It is also vital to maintain the necessary airflow in your home. It is best to avoid blocking the windows with decorations, plants, or heavy curtains. If you have single-pane glass windows, it is time to think about upgrading them to more energy-efficient double-pane windows.
Consider these preparations as part of your regular home maintenance. Addressing small issues immediately can ensure that they don’t become a severe problem later on. Smaller problems are more cost-efficient and may be covered by insurance. If there are problems that you see in your home, don’t ignore them. Check what you can do to fix them right away before it becomes a bigger problem that’s harder to solve.