Homeowners have special considerations when autumn arrives -- its time to prepare the house for the cold months ahead. Typically a family's largest investment, a home may sustain damage if you're not properly prepared when the ice and snow or winter rains hit.
Before night time temperatures dip below the freezing point (32 degrees Fahrenheit) or winter rains begin, be sure to do the following:
- Drain and remove all outdoor hoses.
- Turn off outside water lines, then open the outside spigots to drain any water still in the pipes.
- To prevent water pipes from freezing and bursting, wrap those that are close to the ground or exposed to the cold.
- Clean all rain gutters, flushing downspouts with a garden hose, and place screens over them to avoid any future build-up of debris.
- Place screens over your dryer and furnace vents and your chimney to prevent unwelcome guests (mice, squirrels, etc.) from invading your home.
- Use weather stripping to block unwanted drafts around doors and windows.
- Place an insulation jacket around your hot water heater.
- Examine your roof to make sure it can hold the weight of snow and ice.
- Replace your furnace filter (you may want to purchase a supply for the entire winter so monthly changes are easy), and if necessary have a heating professional give your furnace a routine check.
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