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Preparing Your Home For Winter

Fall is the best time before winter hits to prepare your home for the nasty storms due to arrive soon.  We have all heard the tragic stories of leaky roofs, ice dams, and poorly installed doors & windows. Here are 10 things you can do when preparing your home for winter.

1. Clean gutters of leaves and dirt and check your downspout screens up in the gutter. Hire a handyman if ladders intimidate you. A free-flowing gutter and downspout for roof run-off is essential.

2. Place Styrofoam covers in the foundation vents. Under the house will stay warmer which helps with the heating bill as well as keeping critters out. These can be purchased just about anywhere like Home Depot or Ace Hardware. Hint; measure your openings as there are different sizes.

3. Mice! Put traps out in your garage, storage areas and under the house. Check daily and keep them set until they are gone. Hint: peanut butter works well for baiting the traps. If you have a huge concern call a Pest Control company to help before the problem grows.

4. Spiders! You can spray your foundation with insect repellent or again, call a professional Pest Control Company.

winterizing your home5. Ice Dams are a problem after it snows and the weather stays cold during the day. Snow on your roof melts around skylights, furnace/fireplace vents, and poorly insulated roof areas. It then refreezes at the eaves of the roof forming an ice dam. This dam continues to collect water behind it, refreezing and eventually it finds its way inside. The best solution is to purchase a roof rake and keep your eves clear. Other solutions could be to make sure you have plenty of insulation at the eves of your attic. Best to call an ice dam removal professional for this. As a last resort, installing heat tape around troubled areas could help by melting the snow and insuring water flows into gutters and down the spouts.

6. Often in horizontal weather conditions water can infiltrate the window system. Water can exit windows through its weep holes, make sure they are clear. But if a window is consistently leaking you should call a professional window and siding company who should be able to evaluate the issue and make the repair.

7. Furnace – Spring and Fall have a professional heating and cooling company service and change your filters. Ducts can be cleaned every few years.

8. Flues and chimneys of wood-burning fireplaces should be professionally cleaned each year. A gas-burning fireplace should be professionally checked at least once a year. Removing the shrouds and removing dust from the surfaces will enhance the smell when you fire it up.

9. Window coverings are very helpful in saving money on heating and cooling. Closing blinds on cold evenings will insulate the windows, keeping cold air out and warm air in. Every window should have a blind, shade, or curtain.

10. Locate your snow shovels and/or snow blower now and put them where you can easily get to them. Purchase some ice-melt products for steps and walkways if you can’t shovel them first thing in the morning. Buy the type that is “safe for concrete” as some will pop and crack it up.

If you have questions about winterizing your home or need help, D.E. Rink Construction is available to give free advice and after a problem arises we can help with repairs. Just remember it’s always best to spend the time in fall preparing your home for winter.