To-Do List: 6 Tasks to Help Get Your Home Ready for Winter

The heart of winter can be challenging for homeowners. There are additional responsibilities and worries that can have dire effects if not addressed beforehand. People who live in colder climates need to prepare themselves, and their homes, for colder weather. Here are six tasks to help get your home ready for winter.

Check Your Roof and Gutters

You might not think of your roof as being particularly vulnerable to the winter elements. But the reality is that icy roofs and gutters can cause serious problems for your whole home. It’s a good idea to check that there are no missing or askew shingles on your roof. These will be made much worse by ice, which exacerbates any weaknesses.

Clogged gutters can also cause issues for homeowners. Blockages increase the likelihood of ice building up on your roof. You also want to double check that gutters are correctly installed and empty away from your home. Failing to do this can result in damage to siding and foundations.

Seal Drafty Doors and Windows

You don’t want to be spending a fortune to heat your home during the winter. Air leakage from windows and doors combines for about 20 percent of heat loss in a home. It’s imperative you stop as much of that heat loss as possible. This is especially true in older homes, which often have noticeable gaps between windows and under doors.

Apply weather-stripping around your doors and windows to keep the warmth inside your house. Test it by closing your windows onto a piece of paper. If you can’t pull it out, you’ve weather-stripped well enough.

Make Sure You Have Attic Insulation

Your roof is another place where heat can escape the house. There are a couple reasons why this is something you should try to fix with insulation. First, you will be spending more on your heating bill with uninsulated attics and ceilings. Heat rises; so no insulation means that your home’s warm air will all escape through the roof.

Ice dams are another reason you should insulate your ceiling and attic. An ice dam occurs when snow from the top of the roof melts and then refreezes at the bottom of the roof. This creates an ice buildup, which can cause serious roof leakage and other damage. Definitely look for the best homeowners insurance if you’re not going to insulate your roof.

Get Plumbing ready

Your pipes can freeze during the cold winter months. If they burst, you can have major water damage on your hands—especially you’re on vacation. Be sure to remove hoses and cut off external spigots. It’s also a good idea that you show everyone how to turn off the water in the event of a burst pipe.

Purchase a Generator

You never know what sort of surprises Mother Nature will throw your way. No matter how well you prepare yourself for the elements, the electric lines might not be there. It’s a good idea to have a backup generator, just in case you get stranded without power. The winter cold can be too brutal to go without heat for days. Keep your family safe in the event of an extended power outage.

Set Thermostat Limits

The final thing you should do to prepare for winter is determine your thermostat limits. It’s expensive and inefficient to constantly raise the thermostat because you’re cold. The best strategy is to have a set temperature for when you’re awake, and another for when you’re asleep. The rest of the time, try to accommodate by wearing warmer clothes. You will be much happier when you see your energy bill.

There are a lot of things you need to consider in order to get your home ready for the winter. Complete these six tasks, and you’ll be well on your way to being totally prepared for the season.

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