Now the year is drawing to a close, it’s a good idea to start preparing your home for the winter months. If you live in an area that experiences particularly harsh winters, it’s important to prepare your home now so you can be nice and toasty without worrying about anything going wrong around your home. Here is an essential winter checklist that you should get started on right away.
Insulate your pipes
Any pipes that are exposed or run along a wall in an unheated area (typically outside) are at risk of freezing when the temperature drops, causing the pipe to burst. Head to your local hardware store and look for pipe insulation. If you don’t know what it looks like, it looks almost like a giant pool noodle that you can cut to size, wrap around your pipes and seal with duct tape if needed. If you’re really unsure, ask an employee for advice.
Clean out guttersI
If your gutters are full of leaves, branches and debris, now is the time to clear them out. If they freeze during colder weather they could not only affect drainage in your home, but also damage your roof. If you’re not confident doing this job yourself, call in a professional who should be able to do this in around 2 or 3 hours.
Have your furnace checked
It's important to ensure your furnace is operating safely and efficiently, so call in your local furnace repair company to come and do the job for you. If any repairs are needed, have them fixed as soon as possible to ensure your home is nice and warm during the colder months. Repairs and inspections also ensure that your energy bills won’t soar through the roof.
Inspect trees and branches
Take some time to check trees around your home that could potentially fall or break if there’s a bad storm. Signs this might happen are dead limbs, branches that are slightly broken, and trees where the root is visible. If you’re worried about any trees or branches surrounding your house, call in a professional to come and safely remove them.
Prevent door locks from freezing
If you live in an area that gets particularly cold, then you may have experienced your door locks freezing, making it difficult to enter or leave your home. You can buy a lubricant from the hardware store that you spray into where the key goes. This will help prevent freezing and keep the chamber lubricated. It’s especially important to do this in the winter, but experts recommend doing this once every season.
Drain your sprinklers
It's unlikely you’re going to be needing to water your lawn over the next few months, and if you leave water in the pipes during the winter they could freeze and crack the pipes. It is possible to do it yourself (check the manufacturers website) but it’s recommended to get an irrigation contractor in to blow out all of the water using compressed air.
If you regularly feel drafts from your windows or doors, it’s a good idea to use draft stoppers to keep in the heat and keep out the cold. You can buy draft stoppers online, or you could make them using foam and a pillow case.
If you’re feeling a draft from your baseboard, get some caulking and fill in these gaps to help keep your home nice and toasty.
Have your fireplace cleaned
If you use your fireplace often, there’s a good chance it needs a good clean and inspection. Built up soot is bad for air quality and can cause house fires, so it’s a good idea to clean as much of the area yourself, and then call in a chimney sweep. This is especially important if you’re burning wood or coals. Plus, there’s nothing quite like lighting the fire for the first time in the winter months!
Mulch your flower beds
If you find that your flower beds die during the winter, it might be because you’re not mulching your flower beds. Adding a layer of wood mulch helps regulate the temperature of the soil, and might just save your beloved flower bed from dying off yet again.
Cover garden furniture
Your garden furniture is about to face an array of weather changes. From dry cool days, to snowy, windy, rainy, wet and icy days. The weather will take its toll on your furniture, whether you’ve got wooden or metal! Use some plastic sheets to cover and secure your garden furniture so you can enjoy it for many years to come.
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