It's going to be a cold one! If the weatherman's current predictions have you buying extra fuzzy blankets and hot cocoa, don't forget to take care of the inside and outside of your home while you're at it. Here are 10 things to check and prepare for as winter comes to smack us in the face.
1. Clean the Chimney
Several issues can come from non-routine maintenance such as hazardous smoke, significantly increased chance of fire, corrosion of chimney caps, the list goes on and on. While some issues are cosmetic, others can be life-threatening.
It's easy for hot air to escape from window seals that aren't sealed. Make sure you're not wasting hundreds on your power bill by doing this simple maintenance chore.
3. Cleaning Gutters
When leaves collect in your gutters, they can cause catastrophic issues for your roof and your house. Water can then collect and spill over, causing leaks in your roof. Add freezing temperatures and you have the potential of thousands of dollars in damage.
4. Reverse Ceiling Fans
On almost all ceiling fans is a switch that reverses the spinning of the blades. The blades should spin clockwise for winter to force the warm air near the ceiling down.
5. Drain Water Irrigation and Sprinkler Systems
Freezing water swells which can lead to major cracks and breaks in the lines. If this happens, your system is ruined and will need to be replaced. A little maintenance now could save a lot of maintenance and money later.
6. Store Dry Items
Fall decorations, outside furniture on the lawn, really anything that won't be in use during the winter months. If it is on the lawn, it's probably going to kill the grass it is sitting on or looming over. Certain materials also become brittle under cold temperatures.
7. Trees Trimming
Winter can be hard on trees, especially hard on ones that are dying, dead, or decaying. Snow, harsh winds, and low temperatures add enough stress to bring many branches and whole trees to their breaking points.
8. Roofing Check-up
A leak is either the start of an early problem or the tip of the iceberg of a much larger, much more serious one. Have your roof checked by a professional to ensure you are safe from leaks or more.
9. Pest Control
We humans aren't the only ones wanting to get cozy when it gets cold out. Rodents, insects, and in some cases even snakes will seek to sneak inside and stay rent-free. It's harder to get them out than it is to prevent them in the first place.
10. Check Exterior Paint
Moisture and freezing temperatures are terrible scenarios for cracking paint. As the moisture sets in, the cold temperatures will help create cracks in the paint, causing it to chip.
After completing these winter to-dos you can relax under your fuzzy blankets and sip hot cocoa with peace of mind. For more winter tips and tricks, check out our blog post on DIY De-ice hacks!