Almost everyone has learned about spring cleaning, but not many people know what it means to winterize your home. It is a good strategy every fall, to check out the house and see if it is prepared to get through another winter. At this time of year, with the vegetation dying out, inspecting the house is easier, so you can tell if any shrubs are hanging onto the house. Clinging vines and roots harm siding as well as bricks, so it is good to keep them cleaned off.
When you have finished your last watering, drain, roll up and store all the hose. The exterior faucets must have the water turned off, and then allowed to drain dry. Have the garden furniture cleaned up and stored somewhere dry, once you are done using it till the following year. For those who have any trees that happen to be still new, and especially those that have not endured a winter, shield them by placing mulch around the base of their stems. To allow for extra rainfall, you should purge any drainage ditches that you have.
Cold temperature obviously turns one's thoughts to fireplaces. Try to get your chimney swept soon enough, before the first cold spell, because that's typically when everyone wakes up and wants it done. In case you use logs, do not delay in finding someone and getting a good supply built up. When driving around rural areas, you will discover local people who sell fire wood, without lots of advertising. No matter if you use a fireplace during the winter, you should check all of your smoke alarms to make sure they are working. If you leave your Christmas lights in place for the whole year, check that the cords remain flexible. If you use storm windows, they ought to be installed. You need to assess if the weather-stripping has become dried out from the summer's heat and should be replaced.
The windows are usually almost never opened in winter, therefore it is necessary to check the condition of the filters in the range hood. Examine the ground around your home to make sure that it still slopes away. Water bleeding out into the basement and the foundation can cause major problems. The first damage is wet rot, which sooner or later leads to dry rot, and this is definitely something to be avoided anywhere in your home. Make a point of checking, at regular intervals, that water is not seeping into your home.
You must look for leaks, the most at risk places being the roof, gutters, down-pipes and inside plumbing. Turn it into a priority to get any leaks you find fixed. Wrap any outside pipes, undoubtedly so if your house is older, and minimize drafts by placing a cover over air-conditioning units. Your carpets ought to be shampooed to clear out dust which in winter is readily noticed. End by just cleaning the house windows.