The leaves may still be falling, but winter is coming. Make sure your house is in order by spending some time on maintenance! Keep you and your loved ones safe and warm by preparing your home for the winter storms.
Here are 7 simple and cost-effective projects to check off your list before the cold weather hits.
Step Up Home Safety – Make sure all your safety devices work properly before you turn on the heat. Replace batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors and purchase new fire extinguishers if the ones you have are expired.
Keep Warm by Weatherstripping – Gaps through which heat can escape are found in many places around the house. Examine doors, windows, around protruding pipes, foundation lines, and near chimneys to see if there are any problems. Slowly move your hand around the area and feel for a leak. If you find one, plug it up appropriately by applying weather stripping, caulk, or sealant to the area.
Show the Insulation Some Love – Install new insulation or improve existing insulation to prevent cold air from seeping into your home. Focus on lining the attic and walls to help save on energy costs.
Get Your Furnace and Chimneys Checked – Preemptive maintenance can save time, money, energy, and lives. Make sure your chimneys and furnaces are clean and in good working condition before you even have to use them. Schedule an inspection from a qualified technician to ease any worries or fix any problems you find.
Clean the Roof and Gutters – Check your roof for loose shingles, branches, or nests, which could fly off in heavy winter winds. Be on the lookout for any weak spots susceptible to caving in from the weight of heavy snow or ice. Check that all gutter hangers are fastened securely. Thoroughly clean leaves and any other debris out of your gutters, especially around the elbows and bends in your downspouts. Remember, clogged gutters can lead to water damage to your roof or siding.
Give Your Landscape Some TLC – Be sure to trim your trees and shrubs! Cut away limbs that are dead or dying to prevent them from falling during winter storms. When in doubt about which branches could pose a threat, hire an arborist to point them out or cut them for you. Rake leaves off your lawn so spring growth can thrive. While outside, check your driveways and walkways for any cracks and seal them. If you have any outdoor furniture, make sure you clean it and store it in a dry place.
Check Your Pipes and Faucets – Prevent water problems inside your home by fixing any leaky faucets, draining your hot water heater, and checking the tank for a buildup of sediments or rust. Take care of your pipes outside, too! Unscrew all garden hoses, store them in a safe place, and turn off the valves to your exterior faucets. Make sure you run the water until the pipes are completely drained to keep them from freezing, and don’t forget to drain your irrigation system while you’re at it.
Anything can happen as the days grow colder, but we’ll keep you covered like a cozy blanket with our homeowners insurance policy. Call your local Madison Mutual agent today to make sure your coverage is up-to-date!