As colder weather arrives, so do certain winter-related home issues. With that in mind, I wanted to reach out with a few helpful prep tips to ensure your home remains warm, cozy, and well-protected from the cold weather this winter:
- Consider weatherstripping and insulation – Cold air can easily seep into your home through gaps and cracks around windows and doors, making your home chilly and driving up your energy bills. Inspect these areas and consider applying weatherstripping or caulking to seal any openings. Lowes has a great DIY guide to follow if you need instruction.
- Use window sheet kits – If your windows lack double-panel or storm windows, consider using plastic-film sheet kits available at your nearby hardware store. While these kits are designed for a single season’s use, they can significantly enhance energy efficiency and effectively block cold winter drafts without having to install completely new windows.
- Clean gutters and downspouts – Thoroughly clear any debris, leaves, or twigs from your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters can prevent drainage, damaging your roof and causing severe leaks.
- Winterize outdoor faucets – Disconnect all hoses or devices connected to outdoor spigots and drain any water left behind in the pipes. If you have in-ground sprinkler systems, have them blown out to remove any water. Remember to turn off the water supply to the outdoor spigots to prevent pipe damage in the event your pipes freeze.
- Evaluate home security – Winter nights provide longer periods of darkness, making it important to ensure your home is secure. Test outdoor lights and replace bulbs as needed. Consider installing motion-sensor lights to deter potential intruders. It’s also advisable to have a reliable home security system in place.
- Get wood-burning fireplaces and chimneys inspected – Doing so can prevent chimney fires, which account for over 20,000 residential fires every year. A clogged chimney or flue also increases your chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. You can find a certified chimney sweep here.
Hope this is a helpful reminder as we approach the coldest months of the year. Feel free to forward this on to friends and family. And, as always, if any questions or needs arise this winter, please don’t hesitate to reach out. That’s what I’m here for!