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Guide to Getting Your Home Ready for Winter

04 January 2023

Winter is coming. If you live in a place that gets cold during the winter, I'm sure you've heard this phrase many times before. While this phrase is most often used to make people think about Game of Thrones, it can be applied to your home during winter. Winter isn't just for staying inside with a warm cup of hot cocoa and watching Netflix. This can be an excellent time to ensure your home is well taken care of so you stay healthy, warm, and safe. Here are some steps to ensure your home is well-prepared for the cold.



Step 1. Check & Fix the Exterior of the house

A home's exterior is one of the most important parts to maintain. Checking the exterior of your home can be daunting, but it is essential for maintaining your home. It is time-consuming and costly, but it will save you money in the long run. In this section, we will go through some tips to keep in mind when checking the exterior of your home.

1. Check the exterior of your home for cracks or leaks: If you notice any cracks in your walls or roof, this could lead to water damage during the winter. Check for leaks around windows and doors, too.

2. Make sure your roof doesn't leak: if there are already leaks in your roof, these will worsen during cold weather. It's best to get these repaired before the snow starts falling so that they don't cause further damage to your home.

3. Check the roof for damaged or missing shingles: Even if your roof doesn't leak now, it could start leaking next year if there are damaged shingles on top of it. Ensure that none of your shingles have been blown off or torn away from their nails over time (you may want someone else to help with this one). If there are some missing shingles, replace them right away before they cause more damage to other parts of your house, like insulation and drywall inside.

4. Check water pipes for leaks/damage: During cold weather, pipes can freeze and burst, causing severe damage to your home. To prevent this, check all water pipes for signs of damage or leaks, including those in the attic and basement. If you find any damage, you should contact a plumber immediately.

5. Clear gutters and downspouts: In order to prevent ice dams from forming on your roof, you should clear away any debris from your gutters and downspouts before winter arrives so that nothing is blocking the flow of water through them during freezing temperatures.

6. Drain your sprinklers: If you have sprinklers in your yard, ensure they are drained before winter begins so that they won't freeze over to avoid costly repairs later on down the road!

7. Caulk exterior cracks and gaps: Caulking is a simple way to prevent air leaks and moisture from entering through cracks in your walls, windows, or doors. Cracks around windows can let water in, which can cause damage if the window isn't properly sealed.

8. Wrap pipes to prevent freezing/ Insulate your water pipes: During cold weather, wrapping exposed pipes with insulation will help keep them from freezing when temperatures drop below freezing outside. If there's an exposed pipe inside your home that could freeze, insulating it with a foam sleeve will help prevent damage to both the pipe and your walls or ceilings if ice forms inside the pipe's insulation.

9. Trim low-hanging tree limbs: Low-hanging tree limbs can be dangerous for people and property during winter weather. Ensure you trim any low-hanging branches that could fall on your roof or into your yard during heavy winds or snowfall.

10. Inspect chimneys: Chimneys need special attention during winter because they can crack from ice buildup. If you have a wood-burning fireplace, check the flue damper at least once a week during cold weather months. Ensure it's open when it's cold out so smoke from the fireplace can escape properly into the chimney. If you have a gas fireplace, ensure it's turned off when not in use and keep combustible items away from its base.

11. Check on your foundation: Some homeowners neglect their foundations until there's already severe damage done. It is essential to check regularly for signs of trouble so that minor problems don't turn into major ones, which could eventually lead to rot if left unchecked long enough.

Fixing the outside of your house before winter will make it much easier to deal with your outdoors.



Step 2: Check and fix the interior of the house

In the second step, we will check and fix the interior part of the home. The inside of your home may not seem like an important part of winter preparation, but it really is. Here are some things to check:

1. Check all furnaces, heaters, and other heating systems to ensure they're working correctly — especially if you haven't used them in a long time. If something goes wrong during the winter when it's too cold outside to do much about it, it could cost you a lot of money in repairs!

2. You should also check if there are any electrical issues like faulty wiring or loose connections, which can lead to fire hazards during winter. Also, if any of your appliances are not working properly or have stopped functioning, it's better to replace them with new ones before winter sets in so that you don't have problems later on.

3. If there's any water damage in your home that needs fixing before winter arrives (like drywall repairs), get it done as soon as possible, so you don't have any surprises when it comes time to turn on the heat.

4. Invest In warm wear: One of the most common ways to keep warm during winter is through clothing such as jumpers and coats. However, these items tend to wear out quickly over time, so, if possible, try buying more quality clothing, such as down jackets which will help keep you warm during colder months while also lasting much longer than cheaper garments.

5. Make sure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. These devices can save lives if they go off while no one is home, so it's important to ensure they are working properly before winter hits! Also, have fire extinguishers on standby.



Step 3: Be Prepared for emergencies

Winter is the most challenging time of year for many people. It is a time when we are more likely to have an emergency. To prepare your home for winter, you should prepare an emergency plan and assemble an emergency kit. An emergency kit should be prepared before winter temperatures or during cold weather. It should be assembled with items that keep you safe from the cold and shelter you until help arrives. A family emergency kit should include the following:

1. An adequate water supply (2 gallons per person per day) for at least three days, even if there is no power or running water.

2. A battery-powered phone charger so that you can contact 911 during an outage.

3. Non-perishable food items such as canned goods, energy bars, crackers, peanut butter, and other essential items such as flashlights and batteries for radios or other electronic devices that may be needed during an emergency situation.

4. You should include items such as blankets, toilet paper, hand warmers or heat packs, matches, or candles(but only use them if necessary).

5. You should also consider including a first aid kit with bandages, wound care items such as tweezers and adhesive tape, medications such as antihistamines and anti-inflammatories, and prescription medications in case they are needed during an extended period of isolation, general illness, or infection that could require medical attention.

6. You should also include personal hygiene products such as wet wipes, toothbrushes, and toothpaste.

In order to ensure that your emergency kit is kept safe, Store your emergency kit in a cool, dry place like a basement or closet away from heaters and other heat sources. You do not want moisture on the contents of your kit because this could cause the contents to deteriorate over time. Protect it from extreme temperatures as well by storing it in an area that stays below freezing during winter months. If possible, place it inside another container, such as a plastic bin or large plastic tub, so it doesn't get wet if there is any leakage from leaks in your home's plumbing system or HVAC systems.

Conclusion

This guide is merely an overview of some of the things you can do to prepare your home for winter. There are, of course, many other things you could do to protect your home further, and they should be done in conjunction with the tips provided here. Regardless of how prepared you are, you can never be too cautious when it comes to safety in the home. The winter months have a funny way of sneaking up on us, but it isn't too late to prepare your home against the elements. Just remember that prevention is the best solution. If you take some time to prepare your home, you'll save yourself a lot of headaches later on down the road.