Getting Your Home Winter Ready
Unless you live in a tropical region, winter can be cold and cruel. It can also cause a lot of money and discomfort if you’re home isn’t ready for the cold weather. Here are some simple preventative measures that can keep you warm and financially happy through the winter season.
If you have a gas furnace, make sure the filter is replaced before cold weather sets in. You should also inspect the heating element for any signs of leaks that could result in carbon monoxide being released into your home. Make sure the pilot is lit. If you don’t want to light your pilot, contact your utility provider to light it for you.
Visually inspect your roof for any sagging areas and missing shingles or tiles. Look around the base of the chimney for any abnormalities in the flashing. Inside the home, look for any water spots on the ceiling or walls. If you have any doubts about your roof’s integrity, contact a professional to inspect it.
The gutters should be thoroughly cleaned. Remove any leaves, twigs and debris before using the water hose to force water through the downspouts. Any buildup of water on the roof could lead to catastrophic water damage over the course of a winter. For safety, throw the refuge into a wheelbarrow or other receptacle instead of trying to hold on to a trash bag while you’re on a ladder.
Insulate and Seal Doors and Windows
If you don’t have double-paned windows, take down the screens and install the storm windows. Thick plastic or even blankets can be used if you don’t have storm windows. Check the window panes to see if they need new sealant. Use adhesive backed foam to seal the door jamb. Put door sweeps on the bottom of any exterior door to prevent cold air from penetrating into the house.
Clean the Chimney
Inspect the chimney for any debris that might have accumulated since it was last used. If you have any doubts about the cleanliness of your chimney, contact a professional chimney sweep. To keep out cold air, close the damper over the fireplace when not in use.