How to Prepare for Winter

As winter is beginning it is important to make sure you are prepared to weather the storm.

Insurance

First and foremost, make sure your home is insured, that way if you happen to have a home emergency involving a plumbing leak or a roof caving in from snow, you will not have an immense cost to worry about. It is also important to make sure your car is insured as well to avoid any damages caused by icy or snowy roads.

Thermostat

Slowly lower your thermostat during the day, and night as well, to prevent your wallet from taking a beating in the cold winter months. Bringing the temperature down by one degree a week can make a huge difference. If this is too difficult you can always layer up to make the adjustment easier.

Prep your car

Your car will go through a lot during winter weather. To make your drive more pleasant, throw an extra blanket and sweatshirt in your car for the drive while your car is still heating up. Make sure you also have a little shovel, salt, and window scrappers to avoid any problems resulting from snow.

Stock up

Stock your house with extra food and water in case you happen to get snowed in for an extended period of time. Keep extra shovels and snow salt in your garage to avoid having your car snowed in and having no way of getting out onto the road. Make sure you also have extra firewood if you have a wood fireplace, or have an extra gas insert if you have a gas fireplace. Candles, flashlights, and batteries should be easily accessible in case of a power outage.

Visit your doctor

Get an annual check-up to make sure you are healthy going into the cold winter season. Get a flu shot to avoid being bedridden for up to a week. Always remember to wash your hands and avoid sharing food or drinks with sick people. Check that your prescriptions are up to date as well.

Preparing Your Home For Fall

Check for drafts

Check around windows and doors if there are any spaces where cold air could leak in.  Seal these spaces with new frames, drapery, insulation, etc.

Turn off outdoor faucets

To prevent water from freezing within your pipes, turn off your outdoor water faucets.  Disconnect hoses and sprinklers so the remaining water can drain out.

Put away all seasonal furniture

If you haven’t done so already from summer, clean off and stow away all outdoor furniture.  This will ensure they will not be moldy or pest infested in the spring.

Inspect your chimney

If you have a wood fireplace, and use it often, consider having it cleaned out to have it in good shape for when it gets cold.

Stock up on snow gear

Buy salt for your driveway and sidewalks so that you are ready for when the first snowstorm of the season hits.  If you live in an especially cold area that receives a lot of snow, consider buying a snow blower.

Inspect trees

Look around to make sure none of your trees have weak branches that could result in thousands of dollars of roof repairs if they were to land on your house.

Clean your gutters

As the leaves start falling from the trees they are going to fill up your gutters.  Make sure to get up there and clean them out, so that when it rains water does not overflow onto the foundation of your home.

Fertilize your lawn

After fertilizing your lawn in the fall, it stands a better chance to survive the winter with minimal damage to your yard.

Drain your lawn equipment

Any machines you use for your yard that require gas, such as your lawnmower, should be drained.  Keeping excess gas in the tank can lead to a messy buildup and make it hard for the machine to return to work in the spring.