An Easy Checklist To Get Your Home Ready For Winter NOW
Fall is the time to start preparing your home for the winter months, while the temperatures are still moderate. In Maryland, Virginia and the Washington D.C. region smart homeowners are getting organized. Addressing problems before they happen means safer holidays and fewer insurance claims.
Check your home’s heating and cooling system
Before the weather turns cold, now is the time to change your filters. Consider having your system inspected by an HVAC contractor. Better to find out any problem in advance of below freezing temperatures. An annual maintenance agreement will insure that you’ll get service when needed if required and will usually include a yearly inspection.
Clean your chimney
Many house fires start in the chimney so it is very important to have your wood burning fireplace cleaned and inspected prior to cold weather’s arrival. The services of a licensed chimney sweep is invaluable.
If you order firewood, select a storage location away from the building. Wood can provide a prime entry point for termites and other insects to enter your home.
Paint, and Protect Exterior Wood
We talked about this in our previous blog concerning preparations for Hurricane Season. Changes in temperature and moisture will break the seal of protection that painting and caulking provides. In addition to checking trim around doors and windows, check the condition of your deck ( if you have one). If it absorbs water, demonstrated by water no longer beading up when it hits the surface, it is time to apply a new coat of stain to renew the seal.
Seal hard surfaces and masonry
Changes in temperature create cracks. Now is the time to inspect concrete patios, driveways, and walkways before winter arrives. Before applying concrete sealer to protect hardscape, fill in any cracks first. If your driveway is made of asphalt you may want to reseal that has well. As with concrete, patch prior to sealing.
Clean your gutters and check drainage
Autumn produces the majority of leaves that clog gutters. Once the leaves around your house have stopped falling, do a thorough cleaning to remove twigs and leaves that have collected inside gutters. Make certain water is flowing away from the house. Water that collects and freezes near the building is a recipe for future problems.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
The inspection of your furnace and your fireplace will verify these two heat sources are vented, but smoke and carbon monoxide detectors will alert you and your family in the event of fire or a gas leak. November 1st 2020 is the day that marks the end of Daylight Savings time. Traditionally that is a day when everyone should check the batteries in their alarms. Remember you have less than three minutes to get out of a burning building, according to Underwriter’s Laboratories, so working smoke alarms are save lives.
Drain Outside Faucets
Don’t let your outside water faucet freeze. All you need to do to get ready for the winter is to shut off the water valve to your outside spigot. Then open the exterior spigot valve and let the water drain out of the line.
If you have a sprinkler system you’ll want to shut that down as well. Because most systems need their lines blown out, that will require the services of a professional.
With a few simple steps, your home will be ready for winter. The key is to schedule professional services ahead of the crowd, so you won’t be scrambling around at the last minute trying to get a problem fixed. Now is also the time to review your homeowner’s policy. Have you added an addition or upgrades to your residence that have caused its value to change or have you started using a portion of your home for business that may warrant increased liability coverage? Give the Crilly Insurance Agency a call. We’ll be happy to provide you with a free consultation. 410-571-1771 or set up an appointment using our website.