How to Prepare Your Home for the Winter

When winter approaches, every homeowner wants to do certain things in order to protect their homes from potential damage. In fact, it is an extremely cold season that everyone needs to be fully prepared for it. Explored in this article are some simple tasks to help prepare for winter and stay warm throughout the season.

First of all, you need to prepare your fireside. You should get your fireplace set before the season comes. Inspect your hearth properly to ensure that birds have not built up nests there. Also you need to check whether there are any cracks. From the outside, inspect for broken bricks or crumbling mortar. Make sure your damper can open and close without any problem. You have to clean out all the ashes in the fireplace. Also remember that your chimney has to be professionally swept every other year, especially if you burn a lot of fires. You should have enough stock of wood and you will be ready for winter.

Next, consider sealing all the windows properly. This is done to keep heat in and energy bills as low as possible. Ensure you caulk all the cracks. Caulking is cheap and comes in either temporary or permanent form. Make sure you cover your windows using a thin plastic film, which is available in local hardware stores. Ensure you seal the plastic film using a waterproof tape. When the outside temperatures rises, you will only peel off the film and open the windows to let the sun shine in.

Thirdly, you need to clear out your drain gutters. Note that clogged gutters block flow of rainwater. This leads to household leaks and landscape damage. To clean your gutters, you need to use a ladder to climb up the wall and remove the debris causing the blockage. If the task seems difficult for you, you can outsource it. There are professional gutter cleaning services out there to engage for this job.

Again, you should get prepared for winter storm. Storms are very common during winter. So, you need to be fully prepared for that. Never let a blizzard take you by storm. You should have a completely stocked emergency kit at hand. This should include batteries, candles, flashlight, a lighter and matches. Warm clothes and blankets need also to be available. Non-perishable foodstuff and water should also be available. Do not forget a first-aid kit and specialty products, such as pet food and medicine.

Also, check on heating and maintenance. You must ensure that your HVAC system is in good condition. Call a professional to come and check whether the unit is in good working condition. It is also good to schedule checks for your furnace, chimney and venting system. Never forget to replace carbon monoxide detectors and batteries on smoke in case any of your heating units are overworked.

In addition, consider padding your pipes to prevent floods. Remember a small frozen pipe is likely going to cause a huge damage to your home in case it bursts. Buy tubular pipe insulation sleeves from your local home supply store and cover all the exposed pipes. Do not forget to check pipes in the basement, crawl space and attic. Check whether joints and bends are exposed so you can cover them too. You also need to seal the seams using duct tape. By doing such a simple task, you are not only preventing damage of water but also conserving energy.

Never forget to clean and organize your garage. You should organize all your tools, clean them and store in the garage. Keep away what you will not be using in winter, such as hedge trimmer, rakes, summer toys and lawn-mower. Bring out any winter necessities, such as snow blowers, shovels, sleds and skis to the front of your garage.

And lastly, make sure you buy all winter essentials. To prepare for winter, you need to have all what can help you survive storms and excess coldness. Do not wait until the first storm strikes. This is because snow and ice will not give any warning before they start falling down. So, you should look for snow removal gear and salt early in advance.