This post is written by guest writer Paul Denkin from Dadknowsdiy.com. Thank you Paul for the article!
The chill in the air you are beginning to feel is Mother Nature’s way of tapping you on the shoulder to let you know you should be preparing your home for the colder months ahead. Here’s 8 cold weather home preparation tips that are sure to help. If you take charge of your home’s pipes, air filters, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors, you will save money in repairs and maybe even save someone’s life.
1.) Caulk the exterior
Take a trip to a home retailer to buy tubes of color-matched exterior caulk. You will need to check the outside of your home to seal cracks between trim and siding. You also need the caulk to seal around windows and door frames and where pipes and wires enter your home. Sealing the moisture from leaking into your walls will help you to close off any wasteful energy. It’s best to do this work on a fall day above 50 degrees because the warmer temperatures will allow the caulk to flow easily.
2.) Clean out your gutters
Remove fallen leaves and twigs from your gutters, especially after a rainy day. Clogged gutters will cause ice dams, which can lead to costly repairs. It is recommended to install gutter guards to prevent blockages.
3.) Garden needs
Be sure to trim dead branches from trees around your house to avoid possible damage to your home during a winter storm. While you are outside, clean and store any garden tools and hoses before winter.
Rake up any leaves away from your lawn because heavy amounts of fallen leaves can suffocate your grass. You can even use a lawn mower to shred the leaves into fine pieces to use for mulch. The shredded brown leaves are an ideal source of nutrients for your flowerbeds and lawn.
4.) Check out the attic
If you want to prevent unwanted critters from moving into your home and building a nest in your warm attic, you should install mesh screens behind your gable vents.
5.) Replace your air filters
It’s important to clean and replace filters in your heating system. Fall is a good time to schedule an appointment with a licensed contractor to service your gas heater or furnace to check for any minor issues before they become major, expensive emergencies. Dirty, clogged air filters lower the air quality in your home and use more energy. It is best to regularly replace the filters to avoid possible damage to your system.
6.) Replace the batteries
Autumn can serve as the annual season to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Smoke alarms can save lives if there’s a fire in your home.
If you have gas-burning appliances such as a stove, furnace, or water heater, make sure your carbon monoxide detector is working properly. This odorless natural gas can be deadly, and an inexpensive, life-saving detector can sound an alarm if the levels in the home get too high.
7.) Plumbing and pipes
When the weather outside is frightful and dips below 20 degrees, your pipes are in danger of freezing. If your kitchen and bathroom sinks are on an outside wall, be sure to open your cabinet doors to allow warm air to circulate into the cabinet. You also should leave your faucet on a low drip to keep the pipes from freezing.
If you plan to be away from home during a cold snap, be sure to set your thermostat to no lower than 55 degrees.
8.) Chimney sweep
Before you cozy up to your fireplace during a wintry night, make an appointment with a professional to inspect and clean your chimney for debris. An annual cleaning will prevent dangerous chimney fires.
There are many ways you can prepare your home for the upcoming winter. Not only will these chores save you money, they may even save a life.
For more more home related cleaning and maintenance tips, contact us today!