10/27/2016

Protect your home from the deep freeze with these 6 projects.

1. Keep an Eye on the Outside

When snow falls, it often collects on the trees around your home. If you have large trees around your home, these branches can be at risk for breaking with the heavy snow. To prevent this from happening, before the snow hits, cut back branches are at risk. When it does snow, brush the snow off the branches with a broom. It is better for the branches to brush the snow instead of shake it.

It’s important to make sure your gutters are cleaned too. With our frequent temperature swings in the winter, full gutters can lead to ice dams, which can damage gutters and roofs. Put away the hose and turn off your external taps so they don’t freeze and crack.

It is good to also swap out your summer tools for winter ones, like shovels and scrapers. Set out gravel or salt containers by each entrance to your home so you can easily sprinkle these when the ice starts to collect.

Stepper Homes Winter House

2. Get Your Fireplace Cleaned

Whether you have a wood burning or gas fireplace, it is important to have maintenance done on your chimney. Wood burning fireplaces should be cleaned every one to two years, as the creosote buildup can cause a fire. In gas stoves, it is important to see if there is any debris or even an old nest that has formed.

3. Don’t Forget About Heating Maintenance

It is important to make sure your heating system is in good working order before you head into the colder months. If you haven’t had your heating system checked by a professional in the last three years, this is probably the year to do it.

It is also very important to change your furnace filters every three months. Dirty filters mean your furnace needs to work twice as hard to get warm air around your home. New filters are usually inexpensive, and are easy to slide into place.

This is also a good time to check the batteries for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Because windows are closed, and fireplaces and stoves are used more, it’s important to do monthly checks to make sure your detectors are up to the job. There should be at least a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors on each floor of your home.

4. Protect Entryway Flooring

No matter your homes flooring, moisture and dirt can do a lot of damage. It’s easy to track in moisture, so be sure to put out a mat both inside and outside your external doors. Having a scraper can also help get some of the excess snow off boots, and having a waterproof tray will keep any puddles from forming and damaging your floors.

5. Prepare an Emergency Supply Kit

Winter storms are real, and having an emergency kit handy can make a big difference. It’s important to have enough water, non-perishable food items, flashlights, batteries, first aid supplies, light blankets, warm clothes, and other items to get you through three days. It’s good to keep extra of other items like medicine, baby food or pet food, just in case.

6. Stop the Cold Air from Coming in

Check for drafts around the windows, doors, and vents of your home. Make sure windows are locked, and if you find a draft, sealing cracks with caulking is an inexpensive fix. You can also seal windows with plastic wrap to keep some of the cool air out.

It’s also important to heat your home efficiently. Move large items of furniture that are over heat vents. Those pieces of furniture will suck up the heat. Additionally, if there are rooms in your home that aren’t used, shut the vent and close the door to the room. This can save you money on your heat bills too.

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