Preparing your home for winter is something every homeowner should consider before the season really takes hold. Here are six quick and easy jobs you can do to help winterize your home.
1. Clear your eaves
Clogged eavestroughs can lead to the formation of ice dams, which can tear off gutters, loosen shingles and leave your roof vulnerable to leaks.
Use a ladder to carefully climb to the edge of your roof and dig out the debris. It’s not necessary to remove every small stone. The main purpose is to make sure nothing restricts the flow of water, and that no stagnant water remains in the gutters.
2. Shut off exterior faucets
Cold temperatures can cause pipes inside your home to freeze and burst, which can result in major water damage.
Locate and close any shut-off valves that lead to outside faucets and drain any excess water inside the lines. It’s also a good idea to drain any interior pipes in unheated areas of your home, such as your attic.
3. Test smoke and CO detectors
Regardless of the time of year, it’s always a good idea to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they’re functioning. Detectors lose their effectiveness over time, so replace old products after five years of use.
4. Inspect all weather stripping
Cracks or openings around doors and caulking around windows can lead to heat loss and cost you money on your utility bill. If you find any problem areas, hire a professional to help, or make the necessary repairs if you have the expertise.
5. Have your chimney inspected and cleaned
If you have a wood-burning heating appliance or fireplace, have it inspected and cleaned by a certified chimney inspector to reduce your risk of a fire.
6. Prevent slips and falls
You have certain legal responsibilities to ensure that anyone on your property is reasonably safe. Inspect your property regularly and keep up with snow and ice removal on and around your property, including your roof.