The warm days of summer are slowly fading into the cool nights of fall. It also means it is time to look ahead to cleaning up the yard and preparing for winter. While most people think of cleaning out the flowerbeds, garden, and the dreaded task of raking the seemingly endless piles of leaves, there are several other items to add to the list.
Preparing the outside of your home for winter will save your home from damage and in the process save you lots of time and money. Here is a list of 9 things you can do to help protect your home:
1.) Seal cracks and gaps around exterior doors and windows before the cold winter weather begins.
2.) Survey the roof for damage and check gutters for build up.
5.) Prune any trees within 3 feet from your home and any other buildings on your property to prevent branches from scraping or falling on roofs. Additionally, young trees need protection from animals. Wrap the trunks in wire guards to prevent animals from chewing through their delicate bark.
6.) Make sure to disconnect garden hoses. Water left in a connected hose will damage more than the hose itself- it can lead to cracks in the faucet or pipes as well.
7.) Prepare your lawn mower and any other gas-powered equipment for winter storage by making sure all fuel has been used or drained from the tank.
8.) If you have a fireplace, make sure to prepare your chimney for winter to ensure it is safe and efficient for the winter season. Clear out any built up ashes clean soot, or creosote. Have a professional inspect your fireplace yearly to monitor the build-up of creosote in the chimney which can cause fires and damage the fireplace’s masonry.
9.) Prepare your gutters and roof by applying heat tape inside the gutters and on the edges of the roof. This will prevent melted snow and ice from running off the roof and freezing in the gutters to create an ice dam. Ice dams continue to build up in the gutters. These ice blocks eventually weigh down and can even tear the guttering off your home.