Winter is upon us in the Tennessee Valley. Although the last couple of winters have been mild there are talks of this one being harsh. With many of us doing a constant snow dance you want to make sure your home is prepared for what could be an extreme winter.
Whether you’re looking to sell your home or you just want to get your house ready for winter, here are a few tips to make sure you are prepared.
1. Clean your Gutters- gutters clogged with leaves will make them hold the water that has no way to escape. This can put unnecessary strain on your gutters do to the added weight. The water could freeze and end up pulling your gutters away from the house. The water also could end up flowing back onto the house resulting in wall, soffit, or facia damage.
2. Reverse your ceiling fans- Running your fans in a clockwise direction once the heat is on will create an updraft. This will cause the hot air (that rises) to be pushed back down into the room. The higher the ceiling the more this can be a benefit to your heating bill.
3. Trim back overgrown branches from your roof and electrical lines- Gusting winds and iced branches can cause damage to your home or result in power outages.
4. Stock up on ice melt for sidewalks and driveways- Grab a few bags to store in the garage for when you need them. Best to keep this on hand to ensure you can get down your driveway and there are no unnecessary slips on your sidewalks.
5. Inspect your roof- Either get up on your roof for a close inspection or at least try to take a close up look with some binoculars from the ground. Check for missing or damaged shingles and replace where needed. Water getting behind your shingles and then freezing can lead to some costly repairs. It is easier and of course cheaper to make the repairs now before the damage is done and it has to be an urgent repair
6. Extend downspouts- Try to make sure water is diverted 3 to 4 feet away from your foundation. This will help prevent water damage to your foundation from melting snow.
7. If you have an older thermostat consider a programmable one for a Christmas present to help cut down on heating costs.
8. Check your windows and doors for a draft – Air leaks around your doors and windows can have a big impact to your utility bill through the winter months. Apply caulk where needed.
9. Have your chimney inspected- This should be done at least once a year. If you plan on using your fireplace as a heat source through the winter it is very important that the chimney is not blocked or damaged. This could not only result in less efficient heating of your home but it could result in a house fire as well.
10. Drain your sprinklers- This will help ensure your irrigation lines do not freeze over the winter. This can cause them to become damaged and leak.