Being a homeowner comes with many benefits but it also means your to-do list might grow a bit longer, especially as winter approaches. Even though we live in a relatively mild climate, being properly prepared for the winter months is important. Here are a few key things to get done before winter arrives.
Clean Your Gutters Clearing out your gutters of leaves and debris before next rainfall is a must. Your gutters keep the water flowing away from the foundation of your home which helps prevent future problems. The last thing you want is to be up on a ladder, clearing your spilling gutters in the middle of a storm.
Have Your Chimney Swept If you have a fireplace or wood-burning stove that is used often, the beginning of winter is a good time to have it cleaned by a professional. The cleaning removes the build-up of soot and creosote which can be dangerous and lead to house fires.
Put Away Patio Furniture Covering up or storing away your patio furniture during the winter months helps it last longer, protects it from the elements, and reduces the chance of rust and mold.
Check the Roof Grab a ladder and do a quick check of your roof. Do you see any missing, damaged or lose shingles? Is it covered with leaves? Before the rain hits, this is the time to make any needed repairs or hire someone who can.
Trim Trees Any trees that are close to your home or have branches that hang over your roof or are close to your neighbor’s home, should be trimmed to reduce the risk of them falling on your or your neighbor’s home.
Emergency Kit While it is always good to have an emergency kit ready year-round, take the approach of winter as a reminder to inspect, maintain, and add to it. Be sure to check for any missing items and for food or medication that may have expired.
Replace the Furnace Filter An often forgotten item on the list, the furnace filter, collects and traps dust, hair, dirt and other remains, so it doesn’t get into your HVAC system. Make sure to replace your furnace filter before starting up your heater again. You might be surprised at the amount of debris that has been collected over time!
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are two of the most important things you have in your home. While you prep for winter, take the time to replace the batteries and test each alarm.
Prep for Power Outages If you live in an area prone to power outages like Ben Lomond or Boulder Creek, prepping for power outages might be on your list too. Be sure to take your lanterns and flashlights out of storage and replace the batteries, have easy-to-prepare food items on hand, and service your generator if you have one.