Wintertime is fast approaching again… are you ready for it? The need to prepare for cold weather is a must because we need to preserve our life, home, furniture, and other stuff during this time of the year.
By preparing for winter ahead of time, we get to be comfortable during the season and stay safe as well. This will also allow us to conserve on energy for the sake of our planet and our wallets (LOL).
How’s Your Heating System?
Way before wintertime, make sure that you inspect your home’s heating system (furnace, heater, heat pump, etc). Your heating system should be in running condition and it should be clean too.
This is the time to check on carbon monoxide leakage as this can be very dangerous to your health. And if things or parts need to be repaired, it would be wise to get these things done before the season itself.
People tend to have their heating systems checked and repaired when it’s already the cold season, and you can expect long lines in repair centers if you’re one of these people. So this year, stay ahead of the game and check on your heating system in advance.
Prevent Icicles and Ice Dams
Did you experience icicles and ice dams last winter? Well, make sure that it doesn’t happen again this year. Melted water can flow into your house and damage your things, you know.
Now is the time to check on things, like air leaks, for example. Time flies really fast these days so I usually do my inspection on these stuff about 2 months before the actual cold season. That gives me time to really prepare for it and fix things as needed.
Oh, and the attic is often a source of problem during winter time, so make sure that it’s properly insulated. Like I said, inspect everything way in advance so that you and your home will be ready for the cold months.
Insulate Doors and Windows
Small gaps around doors and windows can cause big problems come winter season. These seemingly small gaps can cause insulation problems and increase your consumption of energy as well.
So, again, check on your windows and doors way before winter season sets in and seal gaps and joints that can become sources of problems. A silicone caulk (and caulk gun) will help you effectively seal these gaps. I recommend silicone caulk because these are resistant to environmental elements and can last for a long time.
Check on Your Roof
Your roof should really REALLY be ready for winter! Melting snow on damaged roof is obviously a big problem and the problem can even get worse when not fixed immediately.
Since a close inspection is needed, I would recommend going on the roof and checking on things yourself. No, don’t just check it with a pair of binoculars because you can miss something. You have to really be up there to assess things. But don’t forget to buckle up with safety gear first before climbing the roof, ok?
Once you’re up there, look for loose or missing shingles – these can cause leaks. Also, look for other types of damages so that you can repair these as soon as possible.
Check on flashing seals around the chimney and existing vents too. Again, these can cause leaks and cause a lot of damage.
Inspect Gutters All Year Round
The gutters are just as important as the roof of your house in protecting you and your family from cold during winter. Clogged gutters can damage the sides of the roof and even the roof itself and can even cause ice dams.
Aside from repairing damaged gutters, these should also be kept clean all year round. But this is especially needed around winter because it will be harder to clean and repair stuff in cold weather.
Keep Your Outdoor Plants Inside
If you have potted plants that won’t survive cold weather, bring them all inside for the duration of the cold season. Don’t let them get frozen because they will die, ok?
Put your potted plants in strategic locations inside your home and they will even make your indoor environment more cozy and pleasant during winter.
Bring Your Outdoor Furniture Temporarily Inside Too
Although outdoor furniture can handle any type of weather, it would still be wise to bring them all inside during winter. This will prolong their lives and preserve their looks, so you won’t need to refurbish and repair them very often.
If your indoor space can’t accommodate all your outdoor furniture, at least put them in your porch or veranda where they are less exposed to harsh weather conditions.
Turn Off Exterior Faucet to Prevent Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes can really cause BIG problems – trust me, you don’t want to have frozen pipes.
So before it really gets cold, make sure that all your exterior pipes are drained of water. If not, the water in the pipes can freeze up and expand as they freeze and burst your pipes.
Disconnect your hose for the winter season and store it for the meantime. Then shut off the valves that have connections to the exterior faucets. Lastly, drain the water that remains in the pipes.
Prepare for Emergencies
Preparing for weather related emergencies is always a must. When it’s winter time, you should be ready for power outages, among other things. We are very dependent on electricity, so being ready for such a situation is truly important.
You should stock up on food of course, and the amount will depend on the size of your family. Since these foods shouldn’t also be dependent on electricity (because of possible power outages), these should be the type that don’t need refrigeration. Think of ready-to-eat food like biscuits, canned fruits, and preserved food. Some of these are not healthy types of food, so just use them for emergency purposes.
Caring for Trees and Shrubs
If you notice, I really care about plant life. I love gardening and I like planting shrubs and flowering plants. Because of this love for plants, I learned how to help them survive during winter season.
It’s just natural for the leaves to fall off come wintertime. But this is not the best time to prune trees and shrubs. You’ll have to wait until late winter to do all the pruning and trimming, please remember that.
At late winter, your trees and shrubs have remained dormant during the cold season. Yes, just dormant, but not dead. And just before spring, these will recuperate and bloom and blossom again. You will want to prune them before this so that the trees and plants can start anew without any dead branches or twigs.
Prepare Your Car for the Winter Season
Driving in snow is also a big problem, so your car should be prepared for this too. Make sure that you have the radiator checked BEFORE wintertime and that the correct antifreeze level is always maintained.
Ice is slippery, so you should check on your tires too. You can have your tires replaced with all-around snow tires so as to avoid winter accidents.