Preparing for Snow: Quick Winter Checklist for Your Home

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You've hauled your winter clothing out of storage, stocked up on ice scrapers and had your snowblower serviced in anticipation of the first snowfall. Now it's time to make sure that your home is ready for those cold white flakes too. To protect your property, lower you energy bills and ensure everyone stays warm and cozy indoors, use this checklist as your snow preparation guide.

1. Check Your Gutters and Downspouts

If you haven't yet cleaned fallen leaves and other debris from your home's gutters, don't delay any longer. Ice dams can form in blocked gutters, and the melting ice can seep into the walls and cause extensive structural damage to your home. Check the pitch of your downspouts to make sure they will divert water away from your home's foundation.

2. Trim the Trees

An electrical outage is the last thing you want on a cold winter evening. Check the trees around your home to ensure branches don't pose a threat to wires. Remove any weak, diseased or top-heavy branches that can come crashing down during a snowstorm and prune back any tree branches overhanging the roof.

3. Weather-Proof Your Windows

If you're not planning on putting up storm windows, take steps to insulate your windows against the frigid cold. A bead of caulk and weatherstripping can help eliminate those pesky drafts. Use window treatments wisely, too. The Department of Energy estimates that you can reduce a window heat loss by as much as 25 percent if you hang your draperies strategically.

4. Schedule Heater Maintenance

A professional pre-season check-up is the most economical way to ensure that your heater works safely and effectively when you most need it. Fuel-burning heaters require regular care to prevent dangerous leaks caused by corrosion. According to the experts at Cydcom Services Ltd, preventive maintenance can also save you money on heating costs by optimizing system efficiency.

5. Protect Plumbing Pipes

Plumbing pipes that pass through unheated areas such as attics, crawl spaces and basements are likely to freeze when outdoor temperatures plummet. Wrap them with heat tape or use foam sleeves to insulate them from the cold. Insulating plumbing lines can save you money on your water heating costs as well.

For most people, a home is their biggest financial asset, so it makes sense to protect that investment with seasonal maintenance. Your family will be a lot more comfortable when Old Man Winter arrives if you take steps now to prepare your home for snowy weather.

Anica O

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