The mercury is finally dropping in the Greater St. Louis region, which means fall is here! Before you know it, though, the snows and howling winds of winter will be at our doorsteps. Now is the time to begin preparing for the cold months of the year by winterizing your home! Here are 10 tips to help you get started:
Prep Your Fireplace
Perhaps one of the greatest things about winter is sitting in front of the fireplace with your friends and family, cups of hot cocoa in hand. Before that happens, you need to have your fireplace swept and inspected! Call a professional to remove soot and creosote and to cap the top of your chimney so pests can’t get in. Don’t forget to stock up on firewood before the snow arrives!
Get Your Furnace Inspected
Picture this: it’s a chilly day in late autumn, and you decide enough is enough – you’re turning on the heater… except it doesn’t run. Don’t let this happen to you; get your heater serviced before the cold really settles in! Call an HVAC professional to inspect the machine and clean the ducts. Run your heater right now for a few minutes to see if any problems arise. As always, keep changing your filters out every few months (or more if you have pet dander or additional dust in your home).
Test the Smoke Detectors
It’s a smart idea to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors every few months! We recommend doing this and changing out the batteries as soon as daylight saving time ends. While you’re at it, replace any fire extinguishers that are older than a decade to put out any fire that may occur.
Pay Attention to Your Plumbing
Check out your pipes before the cold settles in. Are they properly insulated? If not, it’s time to wrap them so you can help prevent freezing. Burst pipes are an expensive, messy issue to tackle! Make sure you know where your water main is as well so you can shut it off quickly should an emergency occur. Finally, drain, remove, and safely store all of your garden hoses until next spring.
Break Out the Weatherstripping
Remember when your parents would chastise you for leaving the door or windows open, claiming that you were “heating the whole neighborhood”? Listen to those words as you check your doors, windows, and exterior for any cracks that warm air could escape from. Caulking, weatherstripping, and draft blockers will be your best friends in this case. Oh, and if your home has a basement, consider putting plastic on the window wells to shield the room from cold air!
Cover the Windows
Those breezy sheers will need to be retired until next summer – that is, if you want to keep warm (and save money on your heating bills!). Now’s the time to break out the blackout curtains, which will help retain warmth on those cold winter nights. Don’t worry, you can still open them to watch the snow fall – just remember to close them at night to stay snug and cozy!
Inspect the Roof, Gutters, and Downspouts
Now it’s time to head outside and pay a visit to the hardest working parts of your home. Hop on a ladder, don some gloves, and clean out your gutters for the season. You’ll want to spray water down the gutters and downspouts to clear out any debris as well. If you haven’t already, consider installing leaf guards on your gutters – they are lifesavers!
Prepare Your Landscaping
Take a look at your yard, outdoor surfaces, trees, and landscaping. Are the trees’ branches encroaching on overhead electrical wires? Are your plants hardy enough to withstand the winter? Now is the time to bring in sensitive plants, trim overhanging branches, and seal your driveway, patio, and deck.
Give Your Foundations a Once-Over
As you’re outside raking up the leaves, take a look at your foundation. Check for any cracks and give the professionals a call if you have any. This includes a deteriorating mortar or missing bricks that you happen to discover. Remember, mice can enter your home through a space that’s as thin as a dime!
Get Your Winter Gear Ready
Okay, so this isn’t technically a step for winterizing your home, but it is important! Before the temperature plummets, you’ll want to service your snow blower, replace any worn rakes and shovels, and buy plenty of ice-melt and sand. This will help you keep safe during the inclement winter weather!
Stay warm and comfortable all winter long with the help of Ferguson Roofing! We’re here to help you prepare your home’s exterior with superior services including roofing, tuckpointing and masonry, ventilation, and so much more! Call us today at (314) 521-6917 in Missouri or at (618) 212-1912 in Illinois to get started.