Homeowners be warned: Jack Frost is rolling into town.
Sounds like the opening to a horror movie, right? That’s not too far off. Some are already seeing snow, cold winds and utility bills that would make Franz San Galli roll in his grave.
Before you start hunkering down for another snowpocalypse, take a few steps to shore up your home and, hopefully, your wallet:
- Now may be the last time you get the chance to unblock your gutters before the winter weather rolls in. And what happens if you don’t? First it snows, then it melts, the water accumulates and then overflows. Before the snow rolls in, grab a ladder and a trowel and get to cleaning!
- Pruning your trees is a must no matter what time of year it is. Damaged, diseased or soon-to-fall limbs are a hazard for your property and personal safety. It could even be a hazard to neighbors and their property depending on where the tree is located. Before the winter weather gets too cold, too icy and too wet, cut off any damaging bits to maintain it until Spring rolls back around.
- If you own and use a chimney, you’re about to get plenty of use from it. And why not? Chimneys are cost effective and efficient. But if it isn’t regularly cleaned it can lead to chimney fires, carbon monoxide and other health and safety problems. If you don’t have a regular chimney sweep, here is a guide on choosing the best service for your needs.
- Windows are a key point of heat loss in the home, which means your furnace has to work twice as hard for half the effect. Replace your screen windows with storm windows to create an extra layer of protection, trapping a layer of air as a buffer between the warmth of your home and the bitter cold on the outside.
- Your attics or your crawlspaces may be the secret killers for your hopes of efficiently heating your own home. While insulating your attic or your crawl space may seem like a big project, don’t worry! Here’s a few tips for insulating the spaces above and below your home!
- Insulation isn’t just about the in’s and out’s of your home’s heat loss - it’s also about protecting your appliances from the weather. Indoor pipes may be warm, but where is the water coming from? Outside. To keep that cold water from doing serious damage under your kitchen sink or in your crawlspace, insulate your indoor pipes with the same material you use to insulate your outdoor pipes!
- Masonry around your home is always at risk when you combine cold temperatures and moisture. Water seeps into the cracks of the stonework and then freezes, possibly widening the cracks and leading to more damage, which means more money out of your pocket. Reseal any visible cracks with your preferred brand of concrete sealant.
- Keeping the heat inside of your home is important, but actually having heat in your home is always the first step. Schedule an inspection of your boiler, furnace, water heaters and any other appliances that will keep you from turning into a snowman when Jack Frost makes his rounds.
- If you’ve ever lost power over the winter, you know the nightmare of winter months without electricity: refrigerated food spoils, candle light becomes your best friend and blankets become fashion accessories. Buying a generator, though, is a good answer. Be careful where you place your generator and follow all safety precautions.
- Get ready for sweat on your brow and calluses across your hands, because it’s time to chop. If you own a chimney, be sure to stock up on enough firewood to keep your home heated throughout the winter. Not sure how much that is exactly? Check out this quick guide!
- When you have your firewood stocked, don’t stop there: candles, water, a battery powered radio, a first aid kit, matches, rope and extra clothes are all must-haves for winter emergencies. Not sure what else to pack? We also put together a list of lesser known emergency items to make sure you’re really prepared.
- If you haven’t yet, it is officially time to bust out the winter clothes. Be sure these are stored in a safe, dry and accessible place if they aren’t going straight into your closet.
It's always a good time to prepare your home and family. Here's your free home emergency preparedness guide. Download it below! If you’re still looking for the right portable building for your backyard, take a virtual tour of each of our shed styles here to find the right fit.