29 Nov 5 Tips For Getting Ready For Winter
Fall is the perfect time to start thinking about your home maintenance as well as getting it ready for the colder weather. We’ve put together a few tips to make sure your home is prepared for winter.
1. Invest in weather stripping
Weather stripping is an excellent way to help seal warm air in and keep cold air out of your home. Your local hardware store can help with finding the right product.
2. Test your sump pump
Your sump pump will help you keep your basement dry during the wet season, so make sure it’s working properly. Slowly pour a few gallons of water into the pit to make sure the pump turns on. The typical lifespan of a sump pump is 10 years. And make sure it will last this long with your home maintenance checklist.
3. Clean your gutters
It’s typically recommended to clean your residential gutter systems at least once every 6 months.
One of the best times to do this is right before winter. Failing to clean your gutters before wet and windy winter hits can put your home at risk of damage. The biggest culprit can be a buildup of snow alongside dead leaves and debris in your drainage systems. If your gutters are clogged with debris, freezing temperatures and precipitation can cause ice dams, which can, in turn, cause significant damage to your home.
4. Protect pipes from freezing
How to prevent frozen pipes
- Insulate outdoor spigots with covers.
- Insulate exposed pipes by wrapping them with towels, blankets, or foam pipe insulation from a hardware store. Keep garage doors closed if there are water supply lines in the garage.
- In older homes with a crawl space and uninsulated pipes, let your faucets drip overnight.
- Know where your home’s water shut-off valve is and how to use it.
- Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.
- Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors so warmer air circulate around the plumbing.
- Leave the heat on and set to a temperature no lower than 55° F while you are away.
5. Inspect your fireplace
Examine the chimney to make sure a chimney cap is present and in good repair.
While you’re at it, make sure:
- No birds nests or debris are built up on the cap
- No tree limbs are above or near the chimney
- Mortar and bricks on the chimney aren’t crumbling or missing
- Chimney rises at least 2 feet above where it exits the roof
- Chimney crown — the sloping cement shoulders at the top of the chimney — is beveled, which helps air flow
- Flue liner is visible above the chimney crown
- Chimney is plumb and not leaning to one side or the other
- Roof flashing is tight against the chimney
Keep safety in mind
No matter what time of year it is, you always need to remember to keep safety in mind. An unattended fire can easily get out of hand and cause devastating destruction, but following these fireplace preparation and safety tips will help you to be able to keep the activity as safe as possible.