As we inch closer to the cold and rainy winter months here in the North Puget Sound, it’s important you start to think about winterizing your home. Using our checklist for a quick pre-winter check-up on your home will help you determine what needs to be done to keep your home comfortable, safe and efficient all winter long.
- Windows and Doors
Nothing drives a heating bill up faster than drafty windows or doors. Fortunately, this is usually a cheap and easy fix because unless you’re facing a seriously damaged window or door, there’s no need for replacement. Some weatherstripping, caulking and door sweeps can do wonders for keeping those cold drafts at bay. You may consider replacing screen doors with storm doors for added insulation as well.
- Gutters and Roof
Neglecting to clear and flush out your gutters before the temperature drops can lead to a world of trouble. When standing water freezes in your gutters, it accelerates the formation of dangerous ice dams on your roof. Also, a gutter full of ice becomes very heavy and can lead to your gutters bending, sagging or completely detaching from the side of your fascia board. Don’t let it get to that point! Call the professionals at Sky Power Wash - we offer free estimates on all gutter cleaning services. While we’re up there on the ladder, have us inspect your roof vent boots and chimney caps!
- Check Your Fireplace
Speaking of chimney caps, we can’t talk about winterizing your home without talking fire safety. Did you know that October is Fire Prevention Month? Before you settle in for the winter, be sure your heating systems and fireplaces are properly functioning. Fireplaces are designed to provide a safe source of heat all winter long… but house fires and smoke inhalation are a real threat this time of year. Inspecting your own chimney for signs of animal activity, moisture and other damage is fairly easy and requires simply a flashlight. Added note: always be sure to close the flue completely when a fire is not lit to avoid heat loss in your home!
- Yard, Deck and Walkways
Take a look around your home for any dead or damaged trees. Heavy ice or snow can cause limbs to come down on your home, car or power lines - yikes! Also, take care to bring any breakable flower pots inside - freezing dirt and ice can crack a clay pot easily. Protect your foundation by ensuring rain and melting snow drain away from your home by adding dirt where necessary. Disconnect that garden hose and store it in a shed or garage. While you’re at it, be sure to cover all outdoor faucets with foam insulators to avoid freezing. Speaking of ice, it’s always a good idea to keep a bag of de-icer or salt on hand to keep stairs, patios, decks, driveways and sidewalks free of ice. Take it a step further by being sure all walkways are properly lit to help further avoid slip and fall accidents!
- Evaluate Your Emergency Preparedness
We typically see an increased number of power outages in the Puget Sound as windstorms pick up in the wintertime. You may consider investing in a generator. If you have one, have you had it serviced lately? Aside from the generator, it’s good to always keep extra food, water, flashlights and batteries in your home. Maybe even some portable chargers for your cell phones! Always check the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, too and be sure your fire extinguisher is up to date.
This is just a start, but we hope this checklist helped! While you’re preparing your home for winter, don’t forget… Sky Power Wash can hang your Christmas lights! We’re extending our early-install discount (10% off) through November 8th, so don’t miss out! Get your free estimate today.