Winterizing your Home

Clean Chimneys, Furnaces and Gutters, Caulk Windows, and more

By Mark J. Donovan

With the kids now back in school and fall just about upon us, it is now a great time of the year to winterize your home for the coming winter months.

Check the Roof

It is important that you go up on your roof (or a professional) and inspect it for loose roof shingles and ridge vents. If you find loose shingles and/or ridge vents, it is important to replace them to prevent any water damage or ice damage. Also, if your ridge vent requires additional roofing nails, make sure you cover them with roofing tar to prevent any water leaks.
Check the Windows

It is important that the cracks around the windows are sealed with a good flexible caulk. Make sure the caulk around your home’s windows and doors is still forming a tight seal. If the caulk is old and brittle, and separating between the siding and windows and doors, then remove it and replace it with a fresh exterior grade caulk. Un-caulked doors and windows are one of the main culprits for air infiltration.

Also, if you have storm windows that need to be installed, this is a perfect time of the year to install them.

Clean Chimney Flues

Have a chimney sweep clean your home’s chimney flues. Creosol can build up in the chimney flues, due to burning wood, leaving your home susceptible to chimney fires. Also, make sure the chimney sweep checks for cracks in the chimney flues. Again, chimney flue cracks can also cause chimney fires.

Clean Home Furnaces

Make sure you have your home’s furnace system cleaned and checked by a professional. The furnace professional should replace all necessary filters and adjust the burners to maximize your furnace’s energy efficiency.

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He should also check for any leaks around the furnace duct work that could potentially lead to fire or carbon monoxide dangers.

Clean up around the Lawn

Drain all lawn hoses and store them inside the home. Hoses left outside could be damaged during the winter months due to water in them freezing.

Also, store any outside lawn furniture in the home.

Wrap Water Heater in Insulation

Wrapping your water heater in insulation can save you some significant money.

Clean Gutters

Make sure your home’s gutters are clean and free from leaves and other debris. If left with leaves and debris, the gutters will back up with snow and ice, which can lead to the gutters tearing away from the home.

Remove Portable Air Conditioners from Windows

With the heat of the summer behind us, it is also good idea to remove portable air conditioner systems from the Windows.

With these items addressed, your home should be ready for the winter ahead.

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