8 Tips to Prepare Your Home for Winter

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Posted by Ben Long

Image of mansion covered in snow

At RSH Legal, we are turning our attention to high school football Friday nights and fall hayrides, pumpkin carving and picking apples. However, freezing cold temperatures and snowfall are just around the corner.  Before that snow flies, here are a few tips to get your home ready to face the winter:

  1. Clean out your gutters. As the weather turns to rain and snow, it’s easy for falling leaves and other debris to get stuck in your gutters. Clogged gutters can lead to overflows, and later to issues with frozen gutters, icicles, and ice dams.  Ice can also form along the gutter line once it gets cold.  Have the ice removed before bigger issues develop in your roofing.
  2. Disconnect and drain all outdoor hoses. If possible, shut off the water to outside valves and winterize any water pipes not warmed by the indoor heat. Frozen lines can lead to burst pipes and major issues once things thaw in the spring.
  3. Inspect windows to make sure any air leaks are caulked and sealed. This will keep you free from drafts and will save you money on your utility bills. To further avoid drafts, get door jamb seals and plastic window liners.
  4. Remove tree branches that overhang. Once they are heavy with snow, they could break and cause damage to your property. Even branches that may not seem low to you right now can hang low once covered with snow or ice.  If you have questions about what branches need to come down, consult a tree trimming company.
  5. Clean out your chimneys or fireplaces. You do not want to run the risk of a house fire after a nice fall or winter evening. Call a professional to avoid injuries in doing the work yourself.
  6. Test your sump pump before fall storms and wet weather. Pour a few gallons of water into the sump pit until the pump runs. If it does not, have it serviced. A sump pump is a major defense against flooded basements.
  7. Reverse your ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans nowadays have a switch which allows them to be reversed. Hot air rises, so reversing your ceiling fans can push warm air down to a lower level.  This will help keep your family warm and will circulate the air in your house, lowering heating costs.
  8. Furnace maintenance is essential. Before the cold of winter hits, change your filters and have a furnace check-up. Consider sealing and insulating ducts in your home to avoid lost heat. Move all of the furniture off

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