15 Things You Can do to Prepare for Winter

With Jack Frost knocking at our door, it is time to start preparing for winter. The cold months can wreak havoc on properties, so help keep Old Man Winter from ruining your property by following these steps:
  1. Prune hedges, shrubs, and branches
  2. If you get lots of snow and ice, large branches can take the brunt of it and break. By trimming them back, there is less area for the snow to sit on and accumulate weight. Plus, it gives the plants a better start when spring rolls back around.
  3. Clean rain gutters
  4. One of the most dreaded tasks of the winter is cleaning out the gutters. This is very important because it helps prevent damage to your roof. If the snow melts and cannot drain properly, it could cause serious problems such as leaks and water damage.
  5. Inspect the roof
  6. If you have shingles on your roof, it is much easier to repair or replace shingles in the fall than to get up there during the winter to fix the issue.
  7. Winterize yard sprinklers
  8. Make sure you drain spigots and lawn sprinklers, especially you have an underground sprinkler system. Draining the water will prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
  9. Seal sidewalk and driveway cracks
  10. What starts as a tiny crack can lead to a tripping hazard in the spring. If water gets into cracks in your sidewalk or driveway, it can freeze and cause further cracking.
  11. Take care of the A/C unit
  12. If you have an A/C unit, make sure to cover it and clean out any debris. If you take care of it during the winter, it will take care of you and your guests during the summer.
  13. Arrange for snow removal services
  14. Heavy winter snowfall can cause serious problems for you and your guests. Consider hiring a snow removal service or get a plan ready to do snow removal yourself. Either way, plan now so you’re not scrambling later.
  15. Inspect doors and windows
  16. Doors and windows make easy escapes for hot air. This can raise heating costs tremendously. Check on caulking, weather stripping, and see if there are any gaps in the door or window frames.
  17. Wrap pipes before winter
  18. Check for uninsulated pipes and wrap them with foam sleeves to make sure that they don’t freeze and burst. Burst pipes can cause water damage as well as great damage to your bank account.
  19. Inspect the heating system
  20. Check to see if the heater is working properly before the cold comes. If there is an issue, have someone take a look and fix it. Make sure your vents open and close properly.
  21. Arrange for a furnace tune-up
  22. Making sure that your furnace is ready for the winter months is very important. Change your furnace filter. Many professional services will come and perform a furnace inspection. Prevention is always better than fixing a break.
  23. Check alarms
  24. Make sure all of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly and the batteries do not need changing.
  25. Clean ducts out
  26. Ducts can have a buildup of debris which causes poor air circulation. Have them vacuumed out to lower the strain on the heating system.
  27. Inspect the chimney
  28. Chimneys and fireplaces can get a lot of gunk built up over the summer months. Make sure the chimney is clear before lighting a fire. Creosote and debris can cause carbon monoxide and smoke to back up into the room. A clogged chimney can pose a serious fire hazard for the property and for the surrounding area.
  29. Consider adding more insulation
  30. Adding insulation to the attic during the fall months helps keep the temperature outside from creeping inside. This will not only help keep your property warm during the winter, but will also keep your property cooler during the summer months.
Proper preparation can save time, effort, and money during the winter months.
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