We turned the heat on November 2nd. Before turning the heat on, we closed up our home against the cold, and made sure everything outside had been put away. Don’t forget to grab your free printable emergency preparation list!
Free Printable: Emergency Preparation List
If you haven’t had a chance, now is the perfect time to put away everything in your yard and make sure that the outside of your home is secure against winter weather. Simply filling in cracks and making sure everything is closed up helps keep your heating bills from going sky high!
Winter Preparation for Your Home
Repair Roof Tiles
On a sunny day, take a walk around the outside of your home and note any repairs that need to be made.
If you have a ladder or access to one, a loose roof tile like the one above can be easily repaired for free. If not, a local contractor would probably charge about $100 to $150 to do the job. You may want to check with your neighbors to see if they have loose roof tiles, too. Perhaps the contractor would charge $150 for doing several houses. Ask if you can supply your own package of roof tiles.
Look for cracks or any other spots where critters and insects can get into your home, and caulk these.
Don’t forget to check around windows for openings. Keep an eye out for rotting wood or peeling paint. These projects may need to wait for spring depending on your time, however, it’s good to note them. Look for loose wires or wires hanging down too low.
Clean out the gutters, and make sure all downspouts are properly connected.
Gutters need to be pitched correctly in order to drain water into the downspout. If yours aren’t, try to get this done before the cold weather and snow arrive.
If you have trees around your home, check for dead branches, especially ones hanging over wires.
This year in the mid-Atlantic we’ve had a substantial amount of wind damage and power outages because of dead limbs. If the dead limbs are high up on a tree, or the entire tree needs to be taken down, it’s worth the money to hire a tree company with the expertise, insurance, and equipment to do the job. Otherwise, borrow a chainsaw from a neighbor or rent one from Home Depot, Lowes, or an equipment rental place.
Don’t forget to turn off outside water sources to prevent costly leakage, and make sure to drain your hoses before storing.
Leaving the hoses outside with water in them can lead to holes and cracks as the water inside expands and contracts during temperature changes.
Keep an eye on children’s toys in the yard, and make sure they don’t get too scattered.
If you have an unexpected snow storm, winter play will be more fun without the unexpected surprise of a sharp edge under the snow. Before putting bikes away for the winter, check the tires for wear and make a note to get them replaced before the spring if needed.
If you need to remove room air conditioners from windows, check for openings and caulk them or make sure that the air conditioners are completely covered to prevent heat loss.
Most of these tasks can be completed in a weekend or two. Ask for help if you need it, and make sure to return the favor. Then, enjoy your winter!