Getting Ready For Winter Checklist

Getting Ready For Winter Checklist
Winter is a few months away but, for some people, it has already arrived although unexpectedly. Once the days have started to get shorter, it is never too early or too late to prepare for the winter months. If not done already, now is the time to get your home ready for winter. Here is a "to do checklist" to accomplished your winter preparation:

- Change or clean the filter on your furnace.
- Have an inspection and maintenance check up done on your heating system.
- Clean all of the home's heating registers and duct openings.
- If using a fireplace or wood stove, have the chimney or flue cleaned and checked by a professional.
- Prepare or purchase wood for the season.
- Clean out rain gutters and down spouts.
- Install gutter coverings to prevent clogging.
- Inspect siding on the home and make repairs if necessary.
- Store or cover all outdoor furniture.
- Check the home's roof for any necessary repairs. Make sure that the roof ridge vent is clear of debris.
- Check others vents on the roof and reseal with roof cement if necessary. This will prevent leaks.
- Check all windows for cracks and replace if necessary.
- Check windows and doors for drafts and caulk where necessary on the exterior of the home. Install weather stripping on the interior.
- Cover any exposed pipes with insulation. Use heat tape if necessary to prevent pipes from freezing.
- Put away all garden hoses.
- Shut off all sprinkler systems.
- Shut off outdoor water faucets and outlets.
- Insulate the water heater.
- Check all doors for drafts. Install weather stripping if needed.
- Install storm windows.
- Replace lightweight curtains with heavier drapes.
- For very old windows, install heavy duty plastic to create a barrier.
- Bring out snow shovels, snow blowers and ice picks.
- Winterize the pool.
- Trim down bushes, flowers and trees as needed. Cover any vulnerable plants with burlap.

Winter cleanup and preparation can be quite tedious but will make spring opening much easier. It will also help a home owner to save energy and avoid expensive mishaps that can happen in cold weather. It is always better to be prepared than sorry later. Get it done and then sit back with a blanket and nice cup of hot cocoa knowing that you've done your best to protect your home and your family.

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