With winter officially upon us there are a few things you can do around your house to make sure your house is ready to handle to cold weather. Just follow our cold weather checklist to make sure you and your family stay nice and warm this winter.
- Make sure your gutters are clear: In the winter time excess water can build up in your gutters from snow melt that refreezes. In the event that your gutter wasn’t properly maintained in the fall you could wind up with a solid chunk of ice and debris sitting in your gutter. This can cause your gutter to fail and even make it break and fall off the house. So before it gets too cold out there, make sure you get up on a ladder and make sure your gutters are clear to avoid a nasty surprise come winter.
- Trim your trees: During the winter months snow and ice accumulate in our area fairly regularly. It can also accumulate on your trees. A half an inch of ice coating a tree branch is more than enough to snap the branch in half. To avoid having an ice or snow covered tree limb from falling through your roof, make sure you trim back any trees that are too close to your home. In the event that you can’t bring yourself to harm a tree, make sure you’re doing everything you can to remove to snow or ice from the tree after a storm to prevent any accidents.
- Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. It’s an odorless, tasteless, colorless gas that kills around 500 people in the US annually and will sicken 20,000 to 30,000 people. Many people who die from carbon monoxide poisoning are killed in their home. If you’re using any type of gas heat, your home should have a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Make sure it is in good working order twice a year. Smoke detectors also need to be in good working order. Each year about 2,500 people die in house fires. Smoke alarms should be placed in each room of the house and batteries need to be checked twice a year to make sure they’re in good working order.
- Turn off your hoses: No one wants to try to turn their hose on in the spring for the first car wash of the season and not get anything out. Freezing pipes are always a concern in the winter months but many people forget about their outdoor hose hook ups. Make sure you turn off the water to your outside hook ups to avoid an unwelcome surprise come spring.
- Clear snow in a timely manner: Clearing snow isn’t fun for anyone but leaving a foot of snow on your deck can cause the structure to weaken. It can also damage stone pathways with the added snow and ice. So make sure you get out there and start clearing. Don’t wait until the snow is too high to walk through. Start when there are only a few inches on the ground to avoid overexerting yourself and if you’re shoveling, take frequent breaks. Heart attacks spike in the winter months due to overexertion. See if there are any good deals on snow blowers or contact someone locally to help you remove the snow if you’re not medically able.
We hope this tips help you survive the cold winter months. Now go curl up next to the fireplace with a good book and a cup of hot chocolate and stay warm!