Winter is Coming

frozenhomeIt’s that time of year again!

Winter weather is here, whether it is welcomed or not! Harsh winter conditions can do a number on our homes, especially if we don’t take the time to prepare for it.

We’ve put together a few easy home winterizing tips that you should do in order to protect your home this year:

  • Clean out gutters - Keeping your gutters free of debris can help prevent damaging ice dams from forming. It also helps them drain correctly and prevents water from seeping into your home’s foundation
  • Have your roof inspected - This is important especially for older roofs. Finding problem areas now is much better than finding them during a rain storm.
  • Locate your generator - Make sure your backup generator is in an easy to get to location, and fire it up to make sure it is in working condition
  • Add fuel stabilizer to all gas power tools and generator 
  • Remove your window screens - Regular window screens can actually trap moisture and build up an ice layer on them. This can damage the screen and also cool your home down
  • Educate your housemates - locate the main water shut off for your home and make sure everyone knows where it is
  • Clear driveways of leaves and debris - Clear off your driveway frequently before they freeze or snow hits
  • Re-caulk where needed - Check around windows and doors for drafts. Caulk inside and out where necessary to keep heat from escaping.
  • Unthread any hoses - disconnect any hoses from the outside hose bibs (faucets)
  • Turn off valves that protect plumbing in outside areas and cold walls
  • Insulate hose bibs  - In extreme cold conditions insulate the outside hose bibs
  • Winterize BBQ grill - If you’re not planning on using during the winter
  • Mow the lawn - Mow the lawn one last time so you don’t have to during the one warm spell we’ll get in the winter
  • Put away patio furniture 
  • Mulch with raked leaves - Mulch your gardens with raked leaves (instead of throwing them out), it will help control weeds and will compost over the winter
  • Remove old tomato plants - Removing these plants will help control disease

These tips are fairly easy to do and can be done in one weekend if you plan it out right. Prior planning and preparation is your best tool against surprise home disasters.

Please remind friends and family to winterize their homes as well. Happy winter!

 

*photo cred emergency.cdc.gov