Five Ways to Get Your Home Ready for Winter

As the days get shorter and turn into cold winter nights we are reminded that there are several tasks that should be accomplished before the upcoming winter takes hold. There are a few things that will help us save money by cutting heating costs. Take the time needed to look over this list and gather a few items to help you winterize your home. Not only is it important to help save energy it is also important to keep your family warm and healthy during these harsh winter months.

Take a look at the heating system to be sure it is working properly. Check to see if the pilot lights are correctly working in older gas or oil heating systems. In the newer gas and oil systems check the thermo-coupling that helps fire off the heating system. Now is also a good time to check the air filters in the system. Even though the unit is heating instead of cooling the same air flow is present with the heater as with the air conditioning. In most cases the same air exchanger is being used.

Take a look at all exterior windows and doors to see if there are any cracks that have developed around the door and window frames. At different times of the year the caulking around our windows and doors will expand and crack. When this happens the cracks will need to be caulked to prevent any unwanted air infiltration from the outside. If you have wooden windows you will need to check and replace any loose spackling.

One thing that is often overlooked is the exterior faucets. The faucets often are left exposed even after the rest of the pipes are insulated and protected. Faucet covers can be purchased at the local building material store that can easily keep the faucets from freezing and cracking causing extensive damage. If the covers cannot be purchased wrap the faucets with old towels or blankets to help protect them.

Drain exterior water lines such as irrigation systems and lawn sprinklers. If the water is removed from these line you will not have the danger of the lines freezing and bursting requiring them to be replaced.

Check your roof to make sure there are no holes or loose shingles.  If there are loose shingles or metal pieces be sure to secure them before the harsh winter conditions do any further damage to the roof. It is also a good idea to brace the gutters and downspouts.  In winter, gutters become full of snow and ice making the gutters heavy without proper bracing the gutters could collapse from the extra weight.

After taking care of things around the house, it is time to hit the perimeter and the yards of our home. By now there are probably a few trashbags full of  that came from the gutters as well as the roof.  Now is the last chance we have to rake up the leaves that have fallen as well as any fallen limbs around the yard. Dead limbs need to be trimmed from trees around the home to prevent damage from fallen limbs.

Now the question remains as to what to do with all the debris that has been collected during your repairs and clean-up. If you live in the Raleigh, North Carolina are there is a simple answer contact NC Dumpster who specializes in debris removal. Check with them to see if they can help with the debris removal you need.