The Bekins Blog
7 Things You Should Do To Prep your Home for Winter
Let’s face it. Winter really is coming. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, this winter will be a mild one in the U.S., but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the usual preparation tasks. You’ll want to make sure you are doing everything to make the most of your energy consumption, protect your home from the elements, and keep your utilities and appliances in working order. Take a few of these steps to get yourself and your family for those cold winter months. After that, all you’ll have to do is binge your favorite show and relax on those snow days.
Clean Those Gutters
Before the first snow, be sure to check your gutters. Clear out old leaves and debris, make sure there are no leaky spots, and adjust spouts accordingly to move water at least five feet away from the house. If you don’t do this, you could be at risk for clogs and ice dams, which can make water leak into your home, causing damage to walls, ceilings, and other areas.
Have your Fireplace Cleaned
This task is typically best left to professionals, but chimneys should generally be cleaned once per season. The mixture of humidity in summer and the build up of soot can damage the masonry work and possibly cause fires. Of course, neglecting regular flue cleaning will also cause the chimney to not work as well as it should, resulting in inefficient heating of your home. Doing this before winter and before the first snow will make for a much easier task.
Trim Your Trees
Now that hurricane season is coming to an end, you may think there isn’t much more yard work to be done. Well, now you’ll have to think about all that snow and ice! Go around your yard, front and back, and try to trim branches that look dead or low hanging. These could easily become a hazard in rough weather, breaking off and damaging your home or even your neighbors’. Focus on areas close to power lines and avoid a messy situation of lost power or flying debris during a snow or windstorm.
Prepare for a Power Outage
Speaking of snow and ice, there is always high possibility of power outages in the winter. If you don’t already have an emergency kit, you should most definitely put one together. When the power goes out, you don’t know if it will be for one day or one week. It is best to prepare for the worst. Fill a duffel bag with batteries, matches, candles, flashlights, a radio, non-perishable foods, and even some games. You can never be too prepared.
Insulate your Hot Water Pipes
We’ve all heard the horrors of having a hot water pipe burst in the house of a friend or you may have even experienced it yourself. Take the proper steps to ensure that this doesn’t happen this winter. Because these pipes are often located in attics or basements, they are not in a well-heated area. When those areas cool down and the water inside the pipes is close to freezing, the water expands and pipes can burst. A simple fix for this is to simply install foam pipe insulation to keep the water from reaching those very low temperatures.
Swap out your Screen Doors
When cold weather hits, most of us take off our screens and replace them with storm doors. Storm doors are designed to keep the cold out and are of course, much stronger in combating the wind and snow than screens are. Replacing these are also much more energy efficient, keeping the warm air in.
Get to the Store Before Everyone Else
So many people regrettably wait until the day before an oncoming storm to go to the store for supplies. And then once you get there, all the shovels are sold out! Try to think ahead of everyone else. Before winter hits, stock up on shovels, ice melt, gloves, and everything else you may need to clear snow from your driveway. You may even be lucky enough to find some pre-season deals.
Getting your home in order before winter can end up taking quite some time. If you follow just this handful of suggestions, you will avoid headaches later in the season. If you are looking to move to a new home before winter hits, let us take the weight off your shoulders so you can focus on the bigger picture. Contact your local Arpin agent to get started on a quote.