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Is your home prepared for Old Man Winter?

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May 13, 2011

When the winter winds begin to blow, make sure your home is prepared. The snow, ice, and freezing rain can take a serious toll on your home and the surrounding property, but your careful attention in the autumn months can mean a smooth and easy wintertime.

Winter  preparation checklist

Ready for winter? Make sure your house is ready, too.

  1. Inspect weather stripping and replace screens with storm windows and storm doors. Feel around windows for drafts and caulk where necessary. Be on the look for rotting wood or other problems.
  2. Take a good look at your fireplace and furnace. Give the furnace a thorough inspection and give your fireplace a complete cleaning. Change all filters, remove all air conditioners from windows, and inspect the duct work you can easily reach. It is always a good idea to call a chimney sweep or HVAC contractor to handle a yearly inspection before the snow flies.
  3. Do a visual inspection of your roof to spot any loose shingles or other areas that might need repair before wintertime. Clean out your gutters and ensure that they are securely fastened to the house--the weight of snow and ice has been known to tear down a gutter.
  4. If you have a pool, take appropriate steps to close it down for the winter before the first frost hits. Clear all drains of debris and empty all water lines to prevent freezing.
  5. Look at your outdoor storm drains and any drains in your basement or garage. Make sure they are clear and ready for the runoff of melting ice and snow.
  6. If there are branches overhanging your home from your nearby trees, trim them back. Clean your deck, especially between the boards, and put protective covers on lawn furniture. Shut off and drain all outside faucets to prevent freezing.
  7. Switch all fans to the reverse or clockwise position. This blows warm air downward, making the most of your home's heating system during the winter months.
  8. Check all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Change out the backup batteries in all units. Test them weekly throughout the winter to ensure they are in good working order at all times.
  9. If you have icy conditions during the wintertime, stock up now on ice melt and sand. Dig out the snow shovels and keep thick winter gloves and scarves in the shed, so you don't forget to wear them while you clean the sidewalks.

Work your way through the winter preparation list and then sit back and enjoy the view of your personal winter wonderland.

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