All homeowners know the basics of caulking and sealing their homes to insulate from winter temperatures; however, there are other things that should be done before cold weather approaches that are less obvious but equally important.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection
If you have a wood-burning fireplace, you should schedule a chimney inspection. The purpose of the inspection is to ensure there is not soot accumulation that could be significant enough to cause a chimney fire.Having a chimney full of soot can cause a house fire that may cause you to end up losing your home. If the inspection uncovers soot buildup, the chimney should be cleaned immediately for the sake of the safety of your home and any loved ones that might live with you.
Install a Carbon Monoxide Detector
After the chimney has been inspected and cleaned as necessary, you should install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector near the fireplace or wood stove. While many people associate carbon monoxide fumes with vehicles, chimneys and furnaces in enclosed areas can also be a source of carbon monoxide poisoning. If you already have a carbon monoxide detector installed, you should check the batteries before the onset of winter.
Create an Emergency Kit
Also, homeowners should evaluate their emergency preparedness before winter. Is there an adequate supply of bottled water, batteries, flashlights, blankets, and packaged food? Do you know how to operate gadgets manually in the event of a power outage? One item that can cause difficulty is the automatic garage door opener. Familiarize yourself with the procedures for using it manually. You don’t want to realize you don’t know how to use it when you’re stranded at home with no power and need to drive to find warmth. This is a great way to make sure you and your loved ones stay safe should any hazards happen during the cold winter months.
Winter Proof the Yard
Homeowners often associate landscaping with warm weather, but it is important to examine tree limbs and branches after the leaves have fallen. Are there tree limbs that appear dead? Could protruding limbs hit the house and cause damage in the event of windy winter weather? While working in the yard, disconnect hoses and shut off the water to outside faucets to prevent frozen or burst pipes.
Install a New Roof
Examine your roof closely. Sometimes, only a few shingles may need replaced. However, a new roof may be necessary if an excessive amount of shingle granules are showing up in the gutters or if there is an excessive amount of rot, mold, or moisture. According to Simpson T Roofing, depending on the quality of the materials and workmanship, a roof should last between 20 and 30 years. Proper inspection and upkeep of the roof will elongate its life.
Performing these tasks ensures a safer and more comfortable winter for homeowners. By completing these tasks your home and family will be able to rest easy, stay warm, and be protected from the harshness of the winter weather.