Cold weather, ice, and snow can do real damage to your home if you don’t take the time to prepare it before winter arrives. Completing this checklist will winterize your home and make it a lot more enjoyable:
Insulate windows. Reducing drafts can lower your home’s energy costs by up to 20% per year. Here are some inexpensive items you can get at the hardware store: V-seal weather stripping along window sashes; rope caulk; shrink film; and draft snake.
Trim tree branches. Any tree limbs or branches overhanging your home should be cut back to at least three feet away from your house.
Inspect and repair the fireplace. In addition to your own visual inspection, you may want to have a chimney sweep or other expert inspect you chimney, inside and out. Check that roof flashing is tight against the chimney.
Check and repair the roof. Do a visual inspection from the ground with binoculars or hire a roof inspector. Check for cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing; shingles that are buckling, curling, blistering, missing, or broken; cracked rubber boots around vent pipes; and masses of moss and lichen, which may indicate the roof is decaying underneath (black algae stains are just cosmetic).
Clear out and repair gutters and downspouts. Clogged rain gutters or downspouts can damage your home’s foundation or cause ice dams. Also, make sure the gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water; tighten gutter hangers and downspout brackets.
We hope these winterizing tips will help you protect your investment and enjoy your home!
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