We Are Heading Into Winter – Be Prepared
Winter is fast approaching so take a close look at your house to be sure you’re ready for the cold temperatures, the wind, rain, snow and ice. Use this handy checklist to make sure you don’t miss anything as you do your inspection. Do this now before it’s too late.
Inspecting the Outside of Your Home
Get a ladder to inspect your rain gutters and their downspouts. Make sure they are fastened securely and if they are at all loose or in any way sagging, re-secure them tightly. If your roof is made of metal you may want to get some snow-breaks to keep the snow from destroying your gutters.
Your roof should be cleared of all debris, as well as your gutters. Look closely at every inch of your gutters and valleys and clear out any leaves that may be clogging them. Otherwise rain or melting snow will seep under the shingles and not drain off. As you clean off your roof inspect for damaged or missing shingles. If you find any, replace them immediately before your roof starts leaking.
Any tree limbs that are hanging over your roof should be trimmed off to protect your roof.
Inspect all vents and make sure that any openings are covered without being blocked. This will prevent insects, rodents and birds from entering your home to keep warm.
Look around to make sure you have a windshield brush and ice scraper for your car. Have on hand enough salt because once it starts snowing it’ll be harder to buy. Get your snow shovel out to make sure it’s in good working order and ready for the first snowfall.
Inspecting the Inside of Your Home
The entire heating system needs to be checked and the furnace filter needs to be cleaned or changed. Do this before the cold weather arrives. For those with a fireplace, check your chimney and have it cleaned before you start using it.
If you have ceiling fans, flip the reverse switch, creating an updraft. This will push the warm air down so that you can benefit from the added warmth.
Inspect all your windows for cracks or loose fittings and latches. Make all needed repairs. For those with storm windows, take them all out for a thorough cleaning and any needed repairs.
Think back to last winter and try to remember if there were any drafty areas inside. Check all doors and windows to make sure they close tightly. You may need to replace or install weather stripping in places or possibly caulk where necessary.
You should change, or at least test the batteries in all smoke detectors twice a year. Many people do this routinely when they change the time on their clocks. Carbon monoxide monitors should be installed on every floor at the designated height recommended by the manufacturer.
Get Your Car Ready for Winter
Have your fluids checked, and don’t forget the coolant. Your car should have an emergency kit containing:
- Cell phone charger
- Warm blanket
- Batteries for flashlight
- Ice scraper
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable snacks
- Emergency flag for outside your car window
Getting your home and vehicles ready for winter will take a little time and effort but this can save you a lot of money in repairs, not to mention your life if you get stuck in a snowstorm. Do not put this off until its too late!