During the mild temperatures of Fall it is hard to think of Winter, but this is when you need to check to see if your home is prepared. Here is a list of things to check around your home, auto’s and equipment, before the really cold weather sets in.
Check to see that all exterior window and door moldings are caulked and sealed to the
exterior siding or brick veneer to prevent cold air intrusion.
Be sure your window latches are adequately sized to hold windows tightly closed.
Check to be sure door weather stripping is sealing tightly and still
in good shape. With the lights off on the inside look at the door when
it is bright outside and look for light coming through around the
door. Wherever you see light there is a gap where cold air can
If you have a wood burning fire place have a chimney sweep company
come to clean the chimney and check the damper. Also check for cracks
in the chimney masonry and tuck point (fill with mortar) or caulk.
Water intrusion in the cracks can cause further damage from freeze
If you have a crawl space, check to be sure the foundation vents are
closed tightly for the winter. If they are auto vents, check to be
sure they are closed when temperatures go below 50 deg f.
Make sure your gutters are clean and downspouts are clear so they can
drain any melted snow and ice as quickly as possible.
If your water heater is in a garage or near an exterior wall, or in
another unconditioned interior space, you could blanket it and make
sure exposed piping is insulated.
Disconnect hoses from outside spickets and drain out hoses.
If you have old fashion yard hydrants or piping exposed to the
elements be sure to wrap them with heat tape and insulation.
If you have over head electrical in to your house, check that the
riser pipe is still securely attached. The weight of ice on the wire
year after year can pull it away from your house which
could cause you to loose power.
Check your roof vent boots and flashing to be sure they are well
sealed/caulked. They may not leak during rain, but melting ice and
snow will flow through the tiniest cracks.
Its a good idea to do this every year but If your heating system is
more than 5 yrs old, have a qualified heat and a/c tech come to check
your system, especially the heat exchanger and direct spark igniter,
or pilot light, if you have gas heat.
You could have your ducts cleaned before you have to keep your windows
closed for the winter.
Caulk any cracks in drive ways and sidewalks and seal to prevent
further damage whether you have asphalt or concrete.
Aerate and over seed your lawn.
Get any pruning done of shrubs, and trees.
If you have any vegetable gardens be sure to have the beds well tilled
before frost or freezing.
Put fuel stabilizer in your out door equipment like lawn mowers or
drain the fuel into an adequate container for storage then you can
reuse the fuel for your snow blower. Also another good idea is to
spray fogging oil into the spark pug hole and reinstall the spark
plug. This will help prevent rusting of the piston rings.
Make sure your boat is winterized properly, if not professionally!
Make sure your hoses and belts in your cars are in good shape. Also
make sure your antifreeze is adequate for the normal temperatures of
your area, make sure the windshield washer fluid is rated for the
temperatures as well. Winter is very hard on vehicles.