Winter will be here before we know it! Today I'd would like to discuss with you the different things you should be doing to prepare your home for the cold weather ahead.
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My wife and I recently put a list together of what we should be doing to prepare our home for the winter that's rapidly approaching. We decided to make a set schedule of items so that we know what to do every year in the fall. Here are a few of the things that are on our list:
Removing our hoses from outside faucets. If you leave the hose on the faucet and water collects in the hose, it can freeze and cause your pipes to burst inside or outside your house. Keep in mind that this can even happen if it's turned off. Therefore, remove your hoses, drain them, and store them somewhere inside, away from the elements. If you have the newer style of faucets that self-drain, you don't have to worry about this. If you don't, make sure to turn the water off to this faucet before freezing weather arrives.
Cleaning our fireplace. Whether it’s a wood-burning unit or a gas fireplace, you should schedule annual maintenance checks. There's no better time than right before cold weather hits to clean your chimney; when it comes time to actually use it, you don't want to start a chimney fire. For gas units, I recommend scheduling your annual maintenance checks for the summer. This way, your fireplace will be set to run when it does get cold. Plus, it's possible you'll save a few bucks by doing this in the off season.
When I need my fireplace cleaned, I call Mr. T's Fireplace Services. To schedule an appointment, visit www.MrTsFireplaceServices.com or call (608) 535-2473.
Stocking up on winter supplies now.
Salt for your walkways
Flashlights in case of power outages
Wood for the fireplace (if applicable)
Changing our furnace filters. If your furnace hasn’t been serviced recently, you should set up an appointment. Winter is the time you’ll need it most, so make sure it’s ready beforehand.
Shutting down our sprinkler system. Failing to shut down sprinklers and blow the water out of the line will result in a high risk of damage due to freezing. Shutting them down is a much lower cost than the repairs that you'll need when they do freeze.
Cleaning out our gutters. When the leaves are finally done falling from the trees, get your gutters cleaned—wet leaves and other matter in your gutters will weight them down. If that freezes, the damage could get worse and result in costly repairs. We like to call the guys at Action Professional Window & Gutter Cleaning Service for our home. They'll clean windows and gutters, and will even power wash your home. Visit their website at www.ActionProfessional.com or call (608) 838-4414.
Having an exterminator treat the house. As the weather gets colder, animals and other critters will want to make your home their own. Pest treatment will prevent them from making their way in.
There are many great pest control services, but a few we've used are Kwik Kill Pest Control and Terminix.
Kwik Kill Pest Control, Inc. can be reached at www.KwikKill.net or (608) 228-8899.
Checking our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. It's good to regularly check and replace the batteries in your units. If they're more than 10 years old, it's time for complete replacements.
Getting rid of dryer lint. Dryer lint is extremely flammable and has been known to cause many house fires. Hire someone to make sure that your ducts are clean and clear. Check in next week for a video that goes more in-depth on the importance of dryer vent cleaning.
Sealing and repairing our windows. If you have storm windows/doors, now would be the time to get them ready for the winter. You should use a plastic seal, under-door draft stoppers, or simply replace them with a more energy-efficient brand.
Taking a look at our landscaping. The fall is a great time to have your lawn aerated to ensure healthy growth in the spring. It's also not a bad idea to trim and prune your trees and shrubs.
These are just some of the items that are on our fall maintenance/winter preparation checklist. If you’d like a more detailed list, check out this blog post.
For any other questions you have, feel free to reach out to me. I’m always here to help.