Fall may be here now but the cold weather is coming. Take these steps to winterize your home in preparation for old man winter:
Step #1: Clean the Gutters
Once the leaves begin to fall, you will need clear gutters to allow rain and melting snow to properly drain. Clean out gutters by scooping out loose debris, washing out the gutter with a hose, and flushing out the downspout. Clogged drains can lead to ice dams, where backed up water freezes and causes water to seep into the house.
Step #2: Insulate Pipes
Cold weather can spell disaster for exposed pipes. And as anyone who has experienced it already knows, a burst pipe can be a nightmare. To protect your pipes, wrap and insulate them with heating tape. Check for leaks and cracks so that minor repairs can be made before Jack Frost causes major damage.
Step #3: Disconnect the hose from the spicket
Winter temperatures can plummet. Any residual water left in your hose can freeze and damage your silcocks even if the are self siphoning.
Step #4: Insulate Your Home
Cut heating costs this winter by checking the insulation in attics and basements. Proper insulation keeps heat from escaping and keeps your home warmer. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that attics be kept 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside air to prevent snow from melting and re-freezing, which can cause significant damage to your roof. Well-insulated basements can help prevent pipes from freezing.
Step #5: Clean Out Chimneys, Furnaces, Boilers and humidifiers
Before winter arrives, have your chimney, boiler or furnace checked. Servicing them once a year can prevent smoke and other damage to your home, helping to ensure your home stays warm. Make sure to keep your home's temperature at 65 degrees or higher to prevent pipes from freezing.
Step #6: Seal Windows and Doors
Make sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed by double-checking the weather stripping. Use weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors to prevent heat from escaping in cold months, saving you money on your energy bill. This is also the time to put up storm windows, if necessary.