Getting ready for winter

Posted: November 3rd, 2011 by Just Real Seattle

Break out your sweaters and turn up the thermostat, winter is on its way back. As a reminder, be sure to set your clocks back one hour on Sunday, November 6.
Here are ten tips to help you prepare your home for winter:
1) Furnace Inspection

  • Call an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace and clean ducts.
  • Stock up on furnace filters and change them monthly.
  • Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat.
  • If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.
  • Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.

2) Get the Fireplace Ready

  • Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
  • If the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
  • Buy firewood or chop wood. Store it in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
  • Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
  • Check the mortar between bricks and tuckpoint, if necessary.

3) Check the Exterior, Doors and Windows

  • Inspect exterior for crevice cracks and exposed entry points around pipes; seal them.
  • Use weatherstripping around doors to prevent cold air from entering the home and caulk windows.
  • Replace cracked glass in windows and, if you end up replacing the entire window, prime and paint exposed wood.
  • If your home has a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
  • Switch out summer screens with glass replacements from storage. If you have storm windows, install them.

4) Inspect Roof, Gutters & Downspouts

  • If your weather temperature will fall below 32 degrees in the winter, adding extra insulation to the attic will prevent warm air from creeping to your roof and causing ice dams.
  • Check flashing to ensure water cannot enter the home.
  • Replace worn roof shingles or tiles.
  • Clean out the gutters and use a hose to spray water down the downspouts to clear away debris.
  • Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters or extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.

5) Service Weather-Specific Equipment

  • Drain gas from lawnmowers.
  • Service or tune-up snow blowers.
  • Replace worn rakes and snow shovels.
  • Clean, dry and store summer gardening equipment.
  • Sharpen ice choppers and buy bags of ice-melt/sand.

6) Check Foundations

  • Rake away all debris and edible vegetation from the foundation.
  • Seal up entry points to keep small animals from crawling under the house.
  • Tuckpoint or seal foundation cracks. Mice can slip through space as thin as a dime.
  • Inspect sill plates for dry rot or pest infestation.
  • Secure crawlspace entrances.

7) Install Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

  • Some cities require a smoke detector in every room.
  • Buy extra smoke detector batteries and change them when daylight savings ends.
  • Install a carbon monoxide detector near your furnace and / or water heater.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to make sure they work.
  • Buy a fire extinguisher or replace an extinguisher older than 10 years.

8) Prevent Plumbing Freezes

  • Locate your water main in the event you need to shut it off in an emergency.
  • Drain all garden hoses.
  • Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
  • Drain air conditioner pipes and, if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
  • If you go on vacation, leave the heat on, set to at least 55 degrees.

9) Prepare Landscaping & Outdoor Surfaces

  • Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
  • Ask a gardener when your trees should be pruned to prevent winter injury.
  • Plant spring flower bulbs and lift bulbs that cannot winter over such as dahlias in areas where the ground freezes.
  • Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks.
  • Don’t automatically remove dead vegetation from gardens as some provide attractive scenery in an otherwise dreary, snow-drenched yard.
  • Move sensitive potted plants indoors or to a sheltered area.

10) Prepare an Emergency Kit

  • Buy indoor candles and matches / lighter for use during a power shortage.
  • Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book.
  • Buy a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.
  • Store extra bottled water and non-perishable food supplies (including pet food, if you have a pet), blankets and a first-aid kit in a dry and easy-to-access location.
  • Prepare an evacuation plan in the event of an emergency.
Posted In: Blog, Investment

8 Responses to “Getting ready for winter”

  1. November 27, 2011 at 6:04 am, Dayna Braget said:

    I love reading through and I conceive this website got some really useful stuff on it!

    Reply

    • December 12, 2011 at 1:50 am, Brad said:

      Hello Dayna, thank you for the great feedback! We’re really close to officially launching our new site and blog. Our aim is to provide good information that’s timely and helpful. Please check back with us and keep the comments coming. All the best, Brad

      Reply

  2. November 27, 2011 at 11:38 pm, Angelo Frisbie said:

    I love your writing style genuinely loving this web site. “Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.” by Eric Hoffer.

    Reply

    • December 12, 2011 at 1:51 am, Brad said:

      Thank you, Angelo! Really appreciate the feedback. We are very close to our official launch date. So I hope you were able to pardon our construction dust and will check back again as we aim to soon deploy one of the best resources for Seattle real estate on the web. All the best, Brad

      Reply

  3. December 18, 2011 at 2:31 am, Tory Laraia said:

    Very interesting subject , appreciate it for posting . “The reason people sweat is so they won’t catch fire when making love.” by Don Rose.

    Reply

    • December 19, 2011 at 6:05 pm, Brad said:

      Thank you for your comment, Tory. We very much appreciate your feedback.

      Reply

  4. September 08, 2013 at 12:47 am, concrete polishing Chattanooga Tennessee said:

    Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group?

    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Many thanks

    Reply

    • September 20, 2013 at 3:03 am, Brad said:

      Thank you for your interest! You are welcome to share our blog.

      -Just Real Seattle

      Reply

Leave a Reply

justrealseattle metropolitan Seattle Real Estate
FirstLast
Helps us to help you by knowing your neighborhood.
image description
Receive a
complimentary
Just Real Seattle

Home Packet.
Selling PacketBuying Packet
Yes, I'd like to receive your newsletter.

We strongly disapprove of spam. Please know that your
email address and information will be used with the utmost respect.

Close
justrealseattle top five deals
FirstLast
image description
Receive a
complimentary
Just Real Seattle

Interested in knowing what the last five top
residential real estate deals were in a specific neighborhood? Just specify your neighborhod of choice and we'll send you a complimentary report.

Yes, I'd like to recieve your newsletter.

We strongly dissaprove of spam. Please know that your
email address and information will be used with the utmost respect.

Close
justrealseattle metropolitan real estate stats
FirstLast
Helps us to know your neighborhood.
image description
Receive a
complimentary
Just Real Seattle
Real Estate
Stats Report.

We pride ourselves on being your "local economists." Providing you with current inventory and pricing data to help you make an educated and informed decision about the selling or purchasing your home.

Yes, I'd like to recieve your newsletter.

We strongly dissaprove of spam. Please know that your
email address and information will be used with the utmost respect.

Close
justrealseattle newsletter

Info you can use... Local Real Estate news,
lending info, home tips, property profiles, neighborhood happenings, local culture and more!

Close