Best Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

1. Trim Trees

Be sure to trim or cut down any dead trees or branches that may fall near your house. Not only does the added weight of snow and ice increase the likelihood of a falling tree, but branches near your house offer animals like squirrels access to your warm house where they may opt to take up residence for the winter.

2. Clean Gutters

Backed up gutters can cause water to build up against the house, potentially damaging your roofing or siding. Check that there are no leaks and that the downspouts drain several feet away from your property’s foundation.

3. Check Roofing

Check your roof for any loose or damaged shingles. Water damage can be costly and cause all sorts of other issues like compromising the structural integrity of your home or mold. Be sure to also check seals around any vents or chimney stacks.

4. Clean Fireplace

Most house fires occur during winter! Before using your heating, have any stoves, furnaces, chimneys and vents inspected and cleaned by a professional to prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

5. Test Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

With the windows closed and fireplaces burning, you’re much more likely to experience a fire or carbon monoxide buildup in the winter. Test the batteries in all your detectors, and if your home isn’t equipped with carbon monoxide detectors, consider purchasing some or having some installed

6. Turn Off Outdoor Water

Turn off all faucets and drain the water from any hoses, pipes, or irrigation systems to prevent bursts. To do so, turn off the water valve to the outside spigot, then open the valve outside and let the remaining water drain out. Advanced sprinkler or irrigation systems may require a professional to blow out, but the cost of professional winterization beats the cost of replacing burst lines.

7. Check Doors and Windows

Make sure all weather stripping on your doors and windows is intact to prevent heat loss. Also, look for any drafts around your doors and windows and caulk inside and out where necessary.

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