By Dixie Somers
Preparing your home for winter is an important task that you surely don't want to put off. Cold weather, snow and ice can severely damage your home if you don't take steps to prepare for it. Be sure to complete these five important tasks to winterize your home before the cold weather sets in.
Trim Your Tree Branches
If you have trees with branches that are inching closer to your home, you should take the time to trim them back. Large branches can become weighed down with snow and fall on your home. They can also cause water to drip onto your roof or siding, which can lead to water damage. Take some time to examine any trees close to your home and trim them back so they're at least 3 feet away.
Insulate Your Windows
Drafty windows can cause your utility bills to skyrocket and make your home much colder in the winter. There are a variety of ways you can insulate your windows that are both simple and effective. You can apply a plastic weather stripping material along the sides of the windows, use rope caulk to fill in any gaps, or apply shrink film to seal drafts and act as a buffer to outside air.
Make Sure Your Fireplace is in Good Shape
If you have a fireplace in your home, you'll want to take some time to prepare it for use in the winter. Make sure you inspect it for damage and consult with a professional chimney sweep in order to get it properly cleaned out before you begin using it.
Inspect Your Roof
Snow and ice can wreak havoc on your roof, and you don't want to discover there's an issue when it's too late. Look for defects like cracked caulk, rust spots, damaged shingles, missing shingles, cracked rubber around your vent pipes, rust and excess moss. In some cases, the damage you discover can be fixed easily on your own if you're comfortable working on a roof. If the job is more complicated, you should ensure you consult with a professional.
Clean Out Your Gutters
If your gutters are clogged with debris as you head into winter, you could face damage to your home's foundation or ice dams. Be sure to thoroughly clean them out after the leaves have finished falling. While cleaning them out, you should also check to make sure that none are sagging or damaged so you can fix or replace them before it's too late.
Preparing your home for winter may seem like a daunting task, but it's extremely important. Make sure you take these five important steps so you can enjoy the winter months.