Home Page Commercial Auto & Home Life & Health Church

When the chill starts creeping in through the windows and doors, it's time to get ready for the big freeze. We've put together a quick and easy checklist, so you can prepare your home for the cold with confidence. Some of these items are regional. For instance, you probably won't need to insulate your pipes if you live in Southern California. But many of these apply to just about everyone. Act on the ones that are right for your home, and skip the ones that don't apply.

Inside the Home

Indoor preparations focus on two major components: efficiency and warmth. You want to keep as much heat inside the home as you can to use energy more efficiently, which means taking care of leaks and insulation problems. You also want to have the fireplace, heater, wood stove and ventilation system ready to go. Here's a list to help you get it all done.

  • Fill in cracks around window frames and door frames with caulk. Bob Vila, well-known home improvement guru and host of This Old House, says that this is one of the cheapest and most significant ways you can cut heating costs in winter.
  • Check insulation in attics, garages and basements. If you have a bug or animal problem, you may need to tear out and replace old or chewed up insulation.
  • Make sure any exposed pipes in the attic, basement and garage are properly insulated.
  • Get a check-up for your heating and ventilation system to make sure it's running as cleanly and efficiently as possible. This can save you a lot of money on utilities.
  • Have a chimney sweep inspect the flue and clean the chimney before starting a fire. There may be bird nests or animals blocking the opening, or a highly flammable buildup of creosote. Either of these can start a chimney fire.
  • Check for cracks and openings in your wood stove. Get a professional to replace compromised glass or crooked vent covers.
  • Change the batteries in your smoke detectors.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector, if you have not done so already. Change the batteries on your existing detectors. The winter months are prime time for carbon monoxide accidents.
  • Have a licensed technician inspect your fire sprinkler system, and ensure it is ready for cold weather.
Outside the Home

To prepare the exterior of the home, you need to focus on protecting it from the elements, especially if you live in a snowy climate. It's also a good time to start prepping your yard for next spring.

  • Clean out the gutters, spouts and drains around your home. Usually there is a thick accumulation of leaves after fall, and this can cause trouble when you need your roof to shed snow and water quickly.
  • Fill in any cracks in your foundation or driveway with caulk or a patch, to keep moisture out.
  • Inspect the roof for cracks, loose tiles, or other signs of weakness. Get all repairs finished now, before the snow or winter rains begin.
  • Have a tree service trim the trees near your home, especially around the roof, power lines and back deck. Heavy snow and strong winds can cause branches to break and fall on your home.
  • Insulate outdoor water pipes and pipes beneath the house that are exposed to outside air.
  • Install a thermometer where you can easily see it from inside your home. The Centers for Disease Control says this is especially important for those over 65, because the ability to gauge temperature decreases with age.
  • Empty and store your water hoses.
  • Insulate outdoor water spouts. In mild climates, an old sock and a strip of duct tape is enough to do the trick.
  • Drain and store your lawn equipment for the winter.
  • Inspect and organize snow removal items like your snow blower, snow shovel and rock salt. Make sure they are in a spot that will always be accessible, even if you get surprised by a heavy winter storm.
  • Put away or cover the barbecue and patio furniture, if you do not plan to use them during the cold months. This will extend the life of your patio set considerably.
  • Fertilize and reseed your grass, and plant any bulbs you want to see sprouting in the springtime.
Posted 8:55 AM  View Comments

Share |


No Comments


Post a Comment
Name
Required
E-Mail
Required (Not Displayed)
Comment
Required


All comments are moderated and stripped of HTML.
Submission Validation
Required
CAPTCHA
Change the CAPTCHA codeSpeak the CAPTCHA code
 
Enter the Validation Code from above.
NOTICE: This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state. By using this blog site you understand that there is no broker client relationship between you and the blog and website publisher.
Blog Archive


View Mobile Version
Valdosta Insurance Services, Inc.
812 Northwood Park Drive l Post Office Box 2070
Valdosta, GA 31604-2070 l 
Phone: (229) 242-4560 l Phone: (888) 242-4560 l Fax: (229) 242-4561 
Powered by Insurance Website Builder