As winter approaches, there are several things to look forward to. Cozy fireplaces, sweaters, and Christmas lights are the things we are most excited about. But with winter coming, we also need our homes to be prepared for the cold. What do you need to do to get prepared?
Fertilize your lawn
Getting your lawn ready for the winter is key to a healthy front yard in the spring. The best way to achieve this is to fertilize your lawn in the late fall. Using a high phosphorus fertilizer mix is the best way to prepare your lawn.
Remove garden hoses from their faucets
To prevent frozen pipes and hoses, you need to remove them altogether. Start by draining the hoses and putting them away. It is also important to turn off any shut-off valves for exterior water to avoid freezing.
Drain your sprinkler system
To properly drain your sprinkler system, turn off the water to your system, then shut off your automated controller. Open the drain valves to remove the excess water, then remove the sprinkler heads. Once the sprinkler heads are drained, replace them and move on to the next one. If you are not familiar with your system, it doesn’t hurt to hire a professional as they can guarantee results during the winter.
Prune your plants
During the late fall, it’s a good idea to prune your plants and trees so they are at least 3ft away from the exterior of your home. This prevents water from collecting and dripping onto your home and roof. This will also assist with possible wind damage from storms.
Take care of your gutters
Clean out any debris in your gutters to improve the flow of water away from your home. It’s also a good idea to have a professional secure your gutters and straighten the pitch to make sure water does not overflow onto your roof and home.
DIY inspect your roof
Take a look at your roof and check to see if there are any damaged, missing or loose shingles that may need to be replaced. You should also be on the lookout for any debris buildup or rust spots. It is important that your roof is free of debris and that all your shingles are working properly before the winter sets in.
Install or prepare storm windows
To prepare for low temperatures, ice and the southern sleet storms, it is a good idea to have your storm windows ready for installation or to go ahead and install them. Storm windows have many benefits in the winter to protect your home.
Seal air leaks
It’s imperative that you walk around your home and check for any holes or spots that could cause energy waste. Any holes you find need to be sealed with caulk to be sure you aren’t wasting warm air and there isn’t a possibility of water leaking into your home. This is also very important for any basement windows you have in your home.
Change direction of ceiling fans
When you switch the direction of your ceiling fans toward the winter, instead of pushing hot hair up, the fan pushes warm air down to redistribute heat throughout the house. This is a helpful trick to keep your energy bills down.
It’s important to hire a professional to do a check up on your fireplace before you use it in the winter. It’s a good idea to have them check for any debris or bird nests that could be in your chimney and fireplace. They should be on the lookout for cracked or missing bricks to be replaced immediately as well. They will also need to check that the damper is working properly and that your fireplace is free of creosote buildup. Creosote should be checked every other year.
Check your furnace
It’s best practice to hire a professional to fully inspect your HVAC/furnace system and change the filter. If there are any issues detected, they should be repaired immediately or at least before winter sets in so you are fully prepared for the cold temperatures.