October and Early November To-Do List to Ready Your Home for Winter

Storm Window Installation for October and Early November To-Do List to Ready Your Home for Winter ArticleBefore October ends and before winter sets into full swing, be sure to prep up your house by including these home improvement tasks in your to-do list.

Fall is already in full swing, and that means the temperatures are dropping. While you may have probably prepped yourself up for winter, can you say the same thing for your home? Do not forget that with October about to end, winterization for your house should be near its completion. So before the last leaf drops and the daylight is still clear, it is good idea to check these chores off your to-do list.

Beef up the windows

No matter how strong your window seems, they can be damaged by the wind, snow and water that winter brings. As such, give them a light scrubbing and wash them with clean water to eliminate dirt, bird droppings and other build up that could be covering damages. After this, caulk gaps and cracks on frames and apply weatherstripping. Adding storm windows is also recommended to protect your windows from winter damage. If you have single-pane windows, however, install a heat-shrink plastic to both their inner and outer frames for added insulation that will help you save on heating cost.

Repair the siding

The last thing you want to deal with during winter is unwanted critters getting inside your house. So your best defence is to do an inspection on your home’s siding to see if there are warped or split wood, cracks or holes and missing or loose panels where pests could enter. If you find any problem, remedy them immediately. Patch up the holes, repair damaged paint and apply a coating or sealant to keep it safe against water.

Fix the roof

Know that your roof is your first line of protection against wind, water and snow. So you want to make sure that it is in good condition for it to properly do its job come winter time. When checking your roof, do it during a warm day so you can easily notice issues that need to be addressed. If there are loose, curled, torn or cracked shingles, reattach them with roofing cement and roofing nails.

Do not forget to attend to your roof’s drainage system. Clean gutters and downspouts and be sure that they are not obstructed by debris so they can properly direct water away from your home’s roof, exterior walls and foundation. It is also necessary to ensure that the gutters and downspouts are secure in place so they won’t give in to the weight of water and snow.

Cut those greens

Before you store your gardening tools for the cold season, walk around your house with a pair of pruners and start cutting brush, weeds and branches that are in contact with your house. You should also remove piles of logs or wood away from your home. These simple chores will ensure that there will be no access points for pests to get inside your home and the plantings won’t scrape your siding during windstorms.

Winterize your outdoor plumbing system

If you do not want to end up dealing with frozen and busted pipes, floods and costly plumbing bills, the most important job you can do before winter sets in is to winterize your outdoor plumbing system. Drain all your underground sprinkler systems, garden hoses as well as outdoor pipes. If it is not possible to drain your outdoor water pipes, cover them with heat tape or foam insulation so they are protected from the cold. Exposed spigots should also be protected with foam covers or layers of newspaper capped with a plastic bag and sealed with duct tape.

Attend to the maintenance of your fireplace and chimney or your heating system

If you will be using the fireplace to warm your home this winter, be sure that its damper is working properly. Equally important is to have both your fireplace and chimney professionally cleaned, especially if you burn soft woods that produce more creosote, to prevent chimney fire.

If you use a heating system, however, give it a tune-up before winter begins. Keep its furnace clean, properly adjusted and lubricated to ensure its efficiency and help you save up to 5% on your heating cost.

Mind your safety indoors

In addition to the fixes mentioned above, you should also pay attention to your safety indoors once winter arrives. To prepare for that, install a carbon-monoxide detector, especially if you keep a gas heater, as well as a smoke detector and ensure both devices have working batteries. Also, make sure you have medical kits available and a good working, fully pressurized household fire extinguisher in place.

Jessie Moore is fulltime writer who enjoys writing tips on home improvement. She also contributes for McIntyre Masonry. Visit www.mcintyremasonry.co.uk for more info about the company.

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