5 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Cold weather is here now is the time to prepare your home for winter. Here are 5 tips to get you started:
- 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 your chimney, inside and out. Check that the 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.
- 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.
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