Ready or not, “Old Man Winter” is coming. By performing a few simple home winterization tasks, you will protect your property, make it safe for yourself and visitors, and even lower your energy bills. A weekend of preventative home winterizing maintenance in the fall will save you from expensive hassles next summer.
Clean your gutters, or rain and melt-off from snow will not flow freely and can damage your roof and walls. If you don’t like heights, hire a professional to do the dirty work. You might want to consider gutter guards to keep out the clutter.
Service your heating system. This includes replacing the filters and checking to make sure the system is working properly. You can replace the filter yourself, but servicing your heating unit is best left to the professionals.
Inspect for cracks. Mice will soon be looking for an escape from the cold so make sure they don’t take up residence in your home. Check the foundation and crawl spaces. Move all debris and plants from the foundation. If you see any cracks, no matter how small, seal them.
Inspect the seams around your windows and door frames for gaps. Be sure to examine the seals around dryer vents and other holes in your home’s exterior. Caulk to seal any gaps. Add weather-stripping, if needed.
Get equipment ready. Check the snow blower, and locate any other snow removal equipment needed. Do snow shovels and ice scrapers need replacing? Pick up a bag of pet and plant safe ice melt, if needed.
Conduct an attic insulation inspection. Insufficient insulation can create an ice dam which is a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof. The water that backs up behind the dam can leak into a home causing damage to walls, ceilings, and insulation.
Conduct a simple test to see if your deck needs to be treated. Sprinkle water in different areas and notice what happens. If the water forms a bead, your deck doesn’t need to be sealed. However, if the water soaks into the boards, it is time to seal the deck. Replace any damaged boards before you proceed with sealing.
Have your fireplace inspected. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it may not need to be cleaned, but it should be inspected in case there’s a blockage from debris that may have blown in.
Check for low limbs that may be too close to your home or to electrical
wires, and trim them back.
Rake the leaves. Not only will your yard look better, but too many leaves on a lawn over winter in a snowy area can inhibit spring growth.
Make exterior repairs. Take a walk around your home, looking for signs of damage to the roof, siding and foundation. If you spot any-thing that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits.
Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures by shutting off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. Drain hoses and store them indoors.
The Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association offers these tips for Colorado homeowners:
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