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How to prepare your home for winter
Winter is fast approaching - is your home prepared? Your home is likely one of your largest investments. With a few simple maintenance tasks, you can be assured that your home is ready to brave the cold winter months. These tasks will help protect your home from preventable damage, save money on energy costs, and, most importantly, keep you and your loved ones safe and warm throughout the winter season.
Leaks and Cracks
Now is the time to go hunting for any cracks or leaks in your home. Take the time to examine your home - from the roof to the baseboards, and all the way down to the basement and foundation. Cracks and leaks allow that cold winter air in, which causes at best drafts and at worst leaks. Many cracks don't require a professional to be fixed - a bit of work now can save you from a lot of damage in the future.
Windows and Doors
Your windows and doors are the other culprits for nasty winter drafts. If you have heat escaping through windows and doors, that means you have dollars escaping as well. Check all of the seals on your windows to make sure they are tight. Consider adding weather-stripping or a door sweep to your doors to keep the heat in and the cold out.
Those gorgeous falling leaves can turn into a nightmare in your gutters. Once all the leaves have descended around your home, take the time to clear out all your gutters. A buildup in your gutters can cause them to freeze with ice, crack and then leak. Once your gutters are clean, run some water through them to make sure no cracks have developed.
A burst pipe can be a thing of nightmares. Make sure you turn off your exterior water source and bring your hoses inside. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure you blow out the system before the first hard freeze. If you have internal pipes in an area that tends to be cold, make sure the pipes are wrapped.
If you use a furnace, make sure you replace your filter. It is also wise to clean out vents and ducts that carry warm air. If you have baseboard heat, make sure they are cleared of dust and any debri that might be a fire hazard.
It is wise to either bring patio furniture inside, or to get a weather rated cover for it. Clear away any piles around your house that may provide shelter for unwanted guests. Examine any large trees to see if there are any branches in danger of breaking off and damaging your home or property.
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