Despite warmer than average fall temperatures, winter is fast approaching and snow will soon fill the forecast.
It's time to take steps to keep your home safe, warm and energy efficient throughout the coming cold weather. Here are ten items recommended by Houzz.com to maintain your home this winter.
1. Clear away leaves
Before the first snowfall, rake up those leaves one more time and clear your gutters. Too many leaves left on the ground can inhibit spring growth. If your gutters are clogged gutters can cause water to pool, potentially damaging your roof or siding.
2. Prepare trees and shrubs
Even in cold winter months, landscaping needs care. Remove dead limbs or trees before the snow starts to fall to avoid damage from a falling tree limb. Even though trees go dormant during winter, they still need water. According to the Colorado State University website, you should water 1-2 times each month October through March on a warm day when the ground is not frozen.
3. Repair exterior
Check your home for needed repairs to the roof, siding and foundation and schedule repairs before winter sets in.
4. Check winter safety
Clear pathways and exterior stairs of debris and ensure they are in good condition. Make sure railings are secure and put gardening and lawn mowers in a protected area for winter storage.
5. Keep critters out
Mice need only a tiny gap to sneak into your home and as the weather gets cold, they will seek warm places to live. To keep small critters from invading, check the perimeter of your house and cover gaps with heavy-duty hardware cloth.
6. Stock winter supplies
Be sure you have the cold weather supplies you need when the snow starts to fall.
o Check the condition of snow shovels and ice scrapers
o Pick up a bag of pet- and plant-safe ice melt
o Restock emergency kits for car and home
o Have fuel on hand for your snow blower
7. Shut off exterior water faucets
Before the weather dips below freezing, protect your pipes by shutting off water to exterior faucets. Hoses should be drained and stored indoors.
8. Add weatherstripping
To help keep your home warm and toasty and save on energy costs, add weatherstripping around window and door frames. Adding door sweeps to the base of drafty doors helps keep heat in and cold out.
9. Check safety devices Before winter comes, ensure these critical safety measures are up-to-date:
o Replace batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
o Check your fire extinguishers expiration date.
o Have your home's radon levels checked if you haven't already done this and hire a contractor to fix unsafe levels.
10. Have your chimney cleaned and your furnace checked.
This is an important safety measure to take before you turn on the heat in your home. Make sure your chimney and furnace or boiler are cleaned, maintained and in working order. Be sure to add a chimney cap if you don’t already have one — it will stop critters from crawling down your chimney!
For the full checklist, visit Houzz.com at http://ow.ly/QJFU30682q1 .