Cold Weather Ahead! Is Your Home Ready?
The leaves are turning vibrant shades of orange and gold. We’ve packed up picnic blankets and dropped down our tailgates.
We’ve traded shorts for our favorite blue jeans. Yes, the cold season is fast approaching, and we homeowners are scurrying to get our homes prepared for the cold weather ahead.
Fall is much more than football and Halloween. This is the time you need to get your home ready for all the possible havoc that the cold weather can cause on your home and yard.
Don’t sit and wait for the onset of cold temperatures, instead consider implementing the following measures to ensure a safe haven when the winter season finally sets in.
Is your home ready for this cold weather, isn’t it?
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Ready Your Home for Winter
1. Clean Out the Gutters
This helps to ensure that your gutters aren’t clogged and thus enabling the free flow of water throughout your gutter system.
This, of course, has numerous benefits to your property including preventing any roof leaks, avoiding flooding in your basement and ensuring the integrity of your home’s foundation.
To clean the gutters is a simple but very messy task. You will don your work gloves and ladder, scoop out all the wet leaves and debris, and bag it up.
Then, use your garden hose to rinse away any debris and make sure water will flow freely down the entire length of the gutter as well as down the downspout.
Clear any remaining clogs and cover the gutters with gutter guards to thwart future clogs.
2. Clean the Chimney
This is the time to inspect and clean your chimney if you’ve never done so. But why should you even fail to do it in the first place?
Chimney cleaning comes with numerous benefits that shouldn’t be missed out by any responsible homeowner—and they include enhanced fireplace efficiency, reduced risk of a house fire as well as reduced risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Consider getting a professional chimney sweep to ensure the sound state of your chimney; which includes the removal of creosote build-up—the leading cause of home fires especially during the winter season.
While this important fire safety is at the top of your mind, check the batteries in your home’s smoke detector and carbon monoxide sensor.
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3. Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is your number one shield when it comes to extreme weather conditions, and so, carrying out a regular inspection is mandatory to enhance its efficiency.
When your home is efficient, it will remain warm and cozy for the long winter months ahead.
Of course, when you lose heat due to rising warm airs drafting out of your roof, your utility costs will skyrocket!
Climb to your roof to inspect it for any visible signs of damage. These can include:
- Damaged, missing, or loose shingles
- Flashing that’s coming loose
- Caulking that needs repaired
- Nails that are popping out of the shingles
- Mold or mildew
- Tree branches hanging onto the roof line
You should also check your roof from inside your attic by looking for any telltale signs of rot, fungus, or dampness on the joists.
But don’t forget that even the seemingly little signs like whistling winds in the home or doors that open on their own could also symbolize a defective roof.
Remember all these defects can worsen during colder weather conditions, so getting your roof ready by making these essential repairs right now is of the utmost importance.
Call in roof repair specialists if the problem is advanced beyond your DIY capabilities.
4. Mouse-proof any entry points to your home
The cold season is always a tough time for the outdoor pests like mice and rats owing to the food scarcity that comes with this season.
So, in most cases, they’ll gladly seek for refuge in your house and hence invading your pantries while also causing damages to your property.
Therefore, the first step is to inspect your home thoroughly for any potential entry points—which may include the roof (they always get into the attic through the roof), pipes or wires, doors, or even windows.
Then take prevention measures to keep the rodents out of your home.
One cheap but surprisingly effective way of blocking access of mice to your home is to stuff steel wool in any apparent gaps around your HVAC duct work or plumbing pipes.
Mice can’t chew through this material as the thin steel will be painful to them.
In addition, installing a chimney cap onto any unused chimneys can help you block out mice or other rodents.
They frequently use old chimneys to enter your property. Another entry point is the eaves and vents of your attic space—don’t forget to set traps near them and check and clean out the traps regularly.
5. Have your HVAC service performed
The winter is almost here, and it’s the right time to ensure that you schedule your HVAC maintenance before the season fully hits.
In fact, once the snow flies, HVAC technicians become very overloaded with service calls, so a little advance preparation goes a long way.
While some winter preparation tasks are DIY, consider hiring an expert’s services to ensure no potential hitch is left unresolved.
Get your pre-winter HVAC preparations scheduled early enough to avoid any breakdowns when your family needs the heat most.
Also, take the opportunity to stock up on HVAC filters while they are on your mind so that you can keep your system running efficiently all winter long.
Regularly change the filters according to manufacturer’s instructions to help avoid allergies triggered by dust.
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Don’t sit and wait for the first snowstorm to hit—start getting ready for the winter now.
Advance planning during the warmer autumn months, before the weather turns nasty, will ensure a safe and cozy home to enjoy throughout the winter.
Do you have any winter preparation tips that you’d like to share? Please feel free to comment, we’d love to hear your feedback and tips.
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Author Bio: Deborah Tayloe is a DIY and real estate blogger, freelance writer, and regular contributor to GutterBrush.
When she’s not writing, you’ll often find Deborah working on a list of endless DIY projects around her home in North Carolina.
I didn’t think to mouse proof my home, this is a good idea!