Getting house ready for winter

Getting house ready for winter

With the fall season now in full force, temperatures are beginning to drop.

What can homeowners do to protect their home as this change in weather pattern approaches? Some handy tips give homeowners a chance to go through and get their home up to date before the bad weather hits home.

One should reguarly clean gutters and downspouts, making sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Gutter Guards being installed could make this job much easier.

Using a screwdriver, probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill holes or completely replace thewood.

Painting the exterior of your home is a good time when temperatures are cooler and humidity is lower.

Have the roof inspected for wear and tear. Replace any shingles that are curling, buckling or crackling. Check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in.

Inspect wood-burning fireplaces, cleaning and repairing it to prevent chimney fires and carbond monoxide poisioning.

Wrap water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape. This will save energy and prevent freezing.

Clean or replace filters in furnace or heating system. Have a licensed heating contractor inspect and service gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

Check the attic for proper insulation. The vapor barrier on insulation should face down twoad the living space. Cut slits in the vapor barrier to allow moisture to escape.

Check windows and doors inside and out for leaks and drafts. Caulk cracks or install weather stripping around windows and doors, including the garage door. Replace screens with storm windows and clean them.

Divide or move perennials. Remove dead annuals and mulch hardy pernnials The best time to mulch perennials is after the first hard freeze.

Clean garden tools before storing for the winter and trim dead branches out of trees to prevent them from causing damage during a winter storm.

Rake think layers of leaves that settle on lawn surfaces. Put raked leaves in compost pile or use as a mulch. They can also be aded to flower beds to put a winter blanket on your garden.

Check carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms, and put in new batteries.