With the temperature plunging and the days getting shorter, it’s never too soon for homeowners to consider the numerous tasks that need to be done to prepare your home for winter. Getting the interior and exterior of your house prepared for the frigid winds, snow, sleet and ice is critical for keeping your home in tip-top shape so that you stay safe, warm and toasty inside.
Having windows cleaned in the fall is very beneficial because leaves and debris falling from the trees cause the screens and windows to become very dirty. This grunge reduces the amount of sunlight that can come in the house to warm it during the chilling days of winter. When sunlight is reduced from entering your home, you will have to compensate by using more heat, which will increase your utility bills.
Sealing windows is equally important to cleaning your windows before the snow flies in order to keep your house warm and reduce energy costs. Using caulking to seal up the cracks is a simple way to prevent drafts from leaking into your home. Alternatively, covering your windows in a thin plastic film helps to waterproof your home due to severe winter weather conditions.
Your gutters are designed to help move water, melting snow and debris away from your roof and home, but when they overflow with leaves they get clogged, create water damage, ice damage to the roof, freeze and crack the pipes. This can ruin the inside of your home and cause mold, mildew and decay on the ceilings or walls and it can weaken your home’s foundation. Consumer reports suggest that leader pipes should extend at least five feet from the home. Overflowing gutters can cause your windows, siding, wood or brick exterior to become muddy and a broken or clogged gutter can result in backed up stagnant water resulting in unwanted animals and insects. Clogged gutters can result in damage to your landscape in close proximity to your house due to falling ice accumulations.
Cleaning your chimney each year before winter arrives is something every responsible homeowner should get done. If you didn’t get around to doing it last year, be sure to have a certified chimney inspector come in during the fall before the hearth starts running regularly again this year. A clean fireplace improves air quality because it prevents smoke from blowing back into the house. This ensures that your family remains safe while using the fireplace, especially during winter months when doors and windows are shut.
By cleaning your chimney ahead of it being consistently used, it will help to keep your home running better because the air motion in your home will flow better and be cleaner. It’s important to keep your damper closed since an open damper will allow warm air to escape when the fireplace is not in use and that’s likely to be costly in energy bills over time.
Tools for Winter
Shovels are a necessity for the winter months to clear your driveway and outside stairs. You may think that the larger the scoop, the quicker the work will be done, but snow is particularly heavy which puts a strain on your neck, shoulders, and back. Here are some choices for you to consider to get the job done with the least physical effort.
- Keep the dimensions moderate. A good size shovel is 18 to 22 inches wide.
- High-strength plastic shovels are strong, lightweight, and easy to use because they’re less prone to freezing and release snow better than metal shovels. However scraping against concrete walks and driveways can wear out the edge more quickly and they’re not good for removing ice.
- Steel shovels are hard to beat for durability, but they’re the heaviest, require more energy to use and more expensive; however, they’re great at removing both snow and ice.
- Aluminum shovels are more durable than plastic, lighter and less expensive than steel, but they bend when it comes in contact with a stubborn ice chunk or cracks in the driveway. Once bent, you might as well toss them away.
It’s on its way
With winter fast approaching, fall is the perfect time to get your home ready for the onslaught of Old Man Winter. Fortunately, if you take a few simple steps now before the big freeze, your home inside and outside will be more energy efficient, safer and warm until the spring thaw occurs.
Once your home is prepared for winter, the next step is to have your lawn prepared to ensure a beautiful lawn for summer. Contact us and our team will assist you with all your lawn care needs for any season.