7 things to prepare your home for winter

Yes, it is November already and old man winter is just around the corner. Living here in New Hampshire we all know that the weather could change on a dime and tomorrow we could have a foot of snow and then next week have a 70-degree day. But don’t worry we still have some time. Here is a list of things I feel are the most important before the weather comes!

  1. Clean Gutters-      It is really important that your gutters that are clean and I will tell you why. If they are full and we have a storm then the ice that melts and freezes has no way to get down you will get ice dams on your roof and this can cause all kinds of damage to your roof and the inside of the home. One thing to remember is to be safe, I was a framer for many years and I always said that you only fall once! If you fall from the height of a roof you can cause a lot of damage and possibly even death! So don’t be a hero if you have to bite the bullet and hire someone then do it. I wrote a post awhile ago that has some more info Spring gutter cleaning.
  2. Service Heating System-      This should be done just to make sure you are ready for the heating season so that your system is running in tip-top shape. A lot of times if you can get this done in the Summer month’s you might get better service because these service guys get really busy this time of year. No matter what, I recommend you have your system serviced at least once a year. One thing people don’t think about is when you have your heating system cleaned and serviced it typically will run more efficient and in return will save you on the heating costs that are about to occur. So don’t be the guy that waits and the heating system breaks down in the middle of a nor’easter!
  3. Clean the Chimney-     You might be too late now to get a company out to your home for a chimney sweep. These guys are flat out at the moment for the mad dash before the heating season. You would not believe the amount of soot that I see in peoples chimneys during my home inspections. You should have your chimney swept every year if you are heating with wood! Did you know that most chimney fires happen and people don’t even know it? The problem with this is damage is done and could be the result of cracking the liner and you have another fire and that fire gets through the chimney and into the home’s structure and this can cause you to lose your home or even worse! A great resource for this and more info is the Chimney Safety Institute of America.
  4. Drain the spigots-     This is one of the things people forget to do and it can cause some serious damage if your pipe does freeze and the pipe cracks. Most people’s pipe has a shut-off on the inside of the home so this is where you close the pipe. On this shut off there is typically a bleeding valve that you open and you also open the spigot on the outside and you can leave it open to drain. They also sell a spigot that is frost proof and these you do not need to do anything with they are designed not to freeze. You tend to see these in a lot of newer homes within the last ten years or so.
  5. Get ready for snow removal-    If you are one of those people that has a plow guy than I am jealous all you got to do is confirm that he is still your plow guy and break out your wallet.  If you’re like most of us you will need to get the snowblower out of the shed for the season. If you stored it with a fuel stabilizer than good for you most likely you will be ready to go. If you did not then be prepared for some possible problems with getting Betsy running. For you guys that use the shovel then I do not envy you unless you have the kids that do it for you then I can understand, mine are way too little for this.
  6. Clean the Yard-     The dreaded leaves are back! Yes they are pretty to look at and I do love the change of the seasons that we have but when it comes to leaf clean up it’s not that fun! It is very important to get these up before the first snow if you don’t then you might as well forget it until spring. If you end up trying to get these leaves up in the spring usually they are already breaking down and can be a real pain to work with. Most people can just rake the leaves into the woods but if you live in the City you need to put them in bags. If you live in Concord like I do it’s really cool you just put the leave to the curb and the city comes and cleans them the up..no need for bags. When I do the leave I use a leaf blower and I tell you it is the best thing, it is almost fun!
  7. Clean out the Garage-     It’s amazing how much stuff you can collect in a garage over the good weather season. Tell you the truth about most home inspections I do I see people use the garage as a storage area and not a place to put the truck. I that’s the case clean it out and try a season with using a garage, no more truck clean-off trust me you will be happy you did!

So much work to do with so little time! I hope that you are ready for this winter season and maybe a few of these tips will get you a little more prepared this year! I am hoping for a mild one and I have a feeling that it’s going to be the mildest we have seen in a long time. Have any tips you would like to add just put in the comments below.

 

 

 

 

 

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