In certain climates, winter is never kind. Several months will pass as your home fights ice, snow, winds, and other wintry hazards.
Be prepared to stay cozy and secure inside by preparing your home for the winter weather. With a little basic maintenance and cleaning, you and your home will be able to shrug off the worst winter has to offer.
Pack Up and Store Everything
Shortly after you enjoy those remaining pleasant autumn days lounging in the backyard, assess your patio furniture and all the other stuff you’ve gathered outdoors for warm weather use. Patio furniture should be cleaned, treated, and stored away or covered up. Find all those stray toys and lawn games and put them back in the toy box, shed, or garage. Garden tools should be cleaned up and stored as well. Colliding with or stepping on a stray rake in the snow is an unpleasant experience.
Give the Trees a Haircut
When preparing your home for the winter weather, look up! See how your deciduous trees are holding up after they’ve lost all their leaves. If there are dangling or broken branches, splits in the trunk, or evidence of dead or dying trees, have an expert arborist look them over and decide if they need a trim. Loose branches can fall on people and homes alike or can be caught by gale force winds and hurled across several yards. Winter can make trees more dangerous, so be sure they’re “defanged,” so to speak.
Go for the Gutters
Keeping your gutters clean and clear is a regular gig, but it’s especially important before winter. While it looks like everything is pleasantly frozen until spring, a constant process of melting and freezing is taking place. When your gutters are stuffed with leaves and detritus, then water can’t flow out through the spout. When that happens, ice dams can form, putting extra weight on the gutters and letting water sneak into the house under the shingles. Save on expensive fix-its by keeping the ice and water moving off your roof.
Fill In the Blanks
If you feel a chill, look for the source. More than likely, it’s coming through a crack in the doorframe, around the window panels, or through some other hidden space in the walls. If possible, seal up the space with caulk or a similar filling agent that will keep the cold winds out and the warm air in. Check inside and out and introduce yourself to parts of the home you never think of, like the window wells, attic space, and elsewhere. If you need a draft detector, light a candle or stick of incense and walk from room to room, observing the flame and smoke, but be careful!