Today’s chilly weather would suggest winter is here, and if you haven’t already, it is time to prep your home for winter. Not correctly preparing can cause water problems and let the chill infiltrate your home throughout the winter.
1. Clean your gutters to prevent ice dams.
A leaky gutter can cause all sorts of damage to your home. Clogged or leaky gutters can cause damage to both the roof and foundation of your property. Cleaning gutters regularly can help avoid damage and expensive repairs to your home and the gutters themselves. Clogged gutters can also cause ice dams when your gutters fill with moisture and freeze. Here are a few tips on how to deal with ice dams.
2. Clean your chimney and check the fireplace flue.
It is crucial to have your gas or wood-burning fireplace professionally cleaned and inspected yearly. In a wood-burning fireplace, creosote can build up in our chimney and eventually cause a fire. While gas-burning fireplaces don’t have creosote, they still can produce build-up that is a fire hazard. While the expert is there, it’s best to inspect the flue integrity to ensure there are no other issues.
3. Seal gaps around your doors and windows.
Much of your home’s heat escapes through your windows and doors, and the older they are, the worse it can be. Replacing them is an energy savings option but not always an economical one. To ensure your existing windows don’t let out heat, we suggest caulking them around their outer frames.
4. Do a roof check and repair any issues.
Water can find its way into any space. We’ve all learned that hard lesson. Your roof is no exception. Shingles get brittle over time, especially with KC’s cold winters. If you have any concerns, it’s good to have a professional assess your roof and ensure it’s ready for the cold weather.
5. Tune your furnace and your filter.
A furnace check-up will ensure your furnace is running optimally and help its longevity. They will also inspect your gas pressure for safety. While on the topic, swap out your filter. A clean filter ensures your system runs its best and keeps your air clean.
6. Check your plumbing and turn off exterior water valves.
Ensuring your plumbing is in good shape is a great way to prevent cracks or leaks that can lead to severe floods when cold weather hits. If you haven’t already, it’s time to turn off your exterior water sources. This means turning off the valves, emptying hoses, and storing them for the winter. If you have a sprinkler system, shut off the water and flush the pipes.
7. Get your snowblower ready and double-check those shovels
We can’t help prep your snow blower, but snowblowersdirect.com has a great article about snowblower maintenance.
8. Test your emergency equipment and prep your home for little guests.
Now is the time to test fire alarms, carbon dioxide detectors, or emergency generators to ensure they’re in good working order. If you plan to have out-of-town visitors, including children, you may consider childproofing your home.