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6 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

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6 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

Many consider fall the best season of the year, and come to think of it, it is also the best time to get on top of your home maintenance. Winter will be along before you know it and a few essential maintenance tasks done now can save you from expensive repairs later. Here are a few things you can do this fall to protect your home and property this coming winter.

Start at the top

A leaky roof can quickly turn the most-awaited festive season into a disaster. To prevent that from happening, make sure that you or a professional check the roof carefully for any sign of wind damage, hail damage or broken or cracked shingles before winter sets in. The gutters should be cleared to allow free draining of melting snow. If needed, cover the gutters with mesh guards to prevent them from getting clogged by leaves or dirt.

Pay attention to the exteriors

If you don't want the driveway to turn into a treacherous obstacle course on a cold winter day, get out there and repair and seal those cracks while the temperatures are still bearable. Shut off the water supply to the outside faucets, drain the remaining water and cover exposed piping with weather-resistant insulated material to prevent pipes from bursting in sub-zero temperatures. Clean the deck and protect it from the harsh winter weather by applying a protective finish. Clean and store outdoor furniture so that it is ready for use the next year. Fertilize the lawn before the cold sets in to have an early start on a green lawn when spring comes along.

Check the doors and windows

Check if the weather stripping and caulking around the door and window frames are in good condition. If you are not sure, do a paper test or hold a lit candle near the frame to check airflow. Heavy drapes can stop warm air from escaping outside or cold air from filtering inside through glass windows.

Get the fireplace ready

Nothing can beat the magic of curling up in front of a warm fire with a good book and a cup of hot cocoa when it is snowing outside. If your home has a wood-burning fireplace, don't forget to have your annual fireplace inspection or to check for flue blockages and creosote buildup. Also get the chimney swept to get rid of soot and debris from the previous winter.

Get a professional to inspect the heating system

Arrange for a professional to do a thorough inspection and cleaning of the heating system. You don't want to get caught unprepared when temperatures start falling. Clean filters make for better indoor air quality and lower utility bills. Without proper maintenance and care, your heating system can lose its efficiency or even stop working altogether.

Gather necessary winter equipment and supplies

Is your snow blower in working condition? Do you have snow shovels and roof rakes? Perhaps you own a second home or cabin that is not modernized, so check your stock of firewood. Do you have enough to get you through the winter months? Test your smoke detectors and replace batteries if needed and make sure that your fire extinguisher is filled.

The weather outside may not be in your control, but you can, with a little bit of time and effort, make sure that its impact on your home is as minimal as possible. Here's hoping you have a great winter, and holiday season ahead!

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