Prepare Your Home for Winter in the Fall
Fall is the perfect time of year to prepare your home for winter. The weather is mild and there are projects inside and outside of the home that will help you get ready for cooler weather. Take these simple steps to keep your home safe and cozy this season.
Get Your Yard Ready for Winter
Get your lawn and garden ready for next spring. Compost your leaves or bag them up for the city to collect. Turn off outdoor faucets and drain and put away garden hoses.
Dead and damaged limbs are dangerous, especially in the winter months. Even if you’re in an area without heavy snow and strong winds, dead branches can fall at any time and damage your house or vehicles. Fall is a good time to remove diseased or dying limbs from your trees. If you’re unsure whether you can safely remove a limb yourself, hire a professional for the task.
Prepare Your Home for Winter: The Exterior
Clean out your gutters. Accumulated leaves and other debris in the guttering can lead to problems. Make sure driveways and paths to the door are safe for winter. Your railing should be stable and secure. Locate and repair slip hazards, such as erosion on steps or depressions in your sidewalk where water can accumulate and freeze.
Winterize your doors and windows to keep cold air from seeping in and to improve energy efficiency. You can put a draft stopper under your door, use winterizing plastic over your windows, and add weatherstripping or caulk to seal cracks around windows and doors.
Guard Against Indoor Safety Hazards
House fires are more common in winter. As cold weather sets in, furnaces and space heaters will be running. To get ready for winter, improve fire safety in your home. Before you turn the furnace on, replace the filter. Make sure there are no flammable items around vents and that they have been properly cleaned. Test your smoke detectors and make sure fire extinguishers are in working order. Have your chimney cleaned; built-up creosote is a fire hazard.
Test for radon, a dangerous carcinogenic gas that can accumulate in a well-sealed home. If you have high levels of radon gas, hire a professional to install a mitigation system.
Stock up on Supplies to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Get ready for winter by stocking up on winter supplies. Get salt or other ice-melting agents for your driveway, buy a new snow shovel if you need one, and invest in warm gloves for outdoor work. Purchase candles or battery-powered lanterns in case of a power outage. Stock your pantry with canned food and other non-perishables in case you’re stranded by a winter storm.