Winter arrives before you know it every year and being prepared is something everyone strives for. Follow these simple guidelines to prep your home for winter and save money wherever you can.
1. Cleaning the Gutters
Once the leaves begin to fall, you will need to clear gutters to allow rain and melting ice to properly drain. Clean out gutters by scooping out loose debris, washing out the gutter with a hose, and flushing out the downspouts. Another option you might want to consider is installing gutter covers which allow water to flow through while keeping leaves and other debris out.
2. Insulating the Pipes
Cold weather can spell disaster for exposed pipes. As anyone who has experienced it already knows, a burst pipe can be a nightmare. To protect your pipes, wrap and insulate them with heating tape. Check for leaks and cracks so that minor repairs can be made before Jack Frost causes major damage.
3. Trimming the Tree Branches
Winter storms can pack quite a punch, sometimes powerful enough to knock down tree branches with the added weight of ice or snow. Falling limbs can damage homes, cars or even the neighbor taking Milo for a walk. Autumn is a great time to check your trees and other landscaping for weak branches.
4. Insulating your Home
Cut heating costs this winter by checking the insulation in attics and basements. Proper insulation keeps heat from escaping and keeps your home warmer. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that attics be kept 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside air to prevent snow from melting and re-freezing, which can cause significant damage to your roof.
5. Cleaning out the Chimneys, Furnaces, Boilers, and Heaters
Before winter arrives, have your chimney or furnace checked. Servicing them once a year can prevent smoke and other damage to your home, helping to ensure your home stays warm. Make sure to keep your homes temperature at 65 degrees or higher to prevent pipes from freezing.
6. Sealing the Windows and Doors
Make sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed by double-checking the weather stripping. Use weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors to prevent heat from escaping in cold months, saving you money on your energy bill.
7. Preparing your Lawn and Landscaping
Cold temperatures cause grass and other plants in your landscape to go dormant. Spend a few hours preparing your lawn for beautiful greenery next year. Start by aerating. Renting an aerator is a cost-effective and efficient way to reduce thatch and provide extra space in the soil for water and oxygen to reach the roots. After aerating, spread a quality winter fertilizer to give your grass the nutrients it needs to grow strong.
8. Protecting your Deck
The harsh winter elements can take a major toll on decking, so it’s important to protect it. With a little time and effort, your deck will make it through winter unscathed and ready for outdoor fun in spring. To keep the structure’s integrity intact and wood looking beautiful, clean and seal your deck before winter arrives.
Do you have a winterizing tip that we missed?! Comment below to share with us! Looking information about caring for your home or maybe finding your home’s value? Contact any of our awesome agents for answers and help!