Frozen Chesapeake Bay

Preparing for winter

Here in Hampton Roads we may still be running the air conditioner into late October. However now that autumn is coming to an end, it is finally time to get out the sweaters and prepare for the cold winter winds.  So, before you give thanks, take time to get your home or business prepared for the cold to come.  We hope this list will help you get started preparing for winter

 

    1. Take care of your trees and shrubs: Winter winds and the weight of ice and snow can lead to fallen trees and branches. To prevent your home from suffering tree damage, cut down dead trees and limbs. In addition, prune trees and shrubs that are close to buildings. If the trees are too large for you to take care of yourself, consider hiring a certified arborist.
    2. Clean gutters and downspouts: Clogged gutters can cause water to pool and damage your roof or siding. The water is left in your gutters it may freeze when temperatures drop. Freezing water expands and may cause your gutters to warp and crack. In addition, gutters clogged with ice can lead to the formation of ice dams on your roof. Ice dams can lead to significant damage.
    3. Take care of the cracks: Notice issues in your masonry or foundation. Extreme temperature changes can exacerbate these cracks. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits.
    4. Fix that roof: Walk around the exterior and look for missing, damaged, and aged shingles. Repair or replace any shingles with issues. This can prevent future roof damage.
    5. Mind the gap: As the days get cooler a lot of animals will be looking for ways to stay warm. Mice, squirrels, raccoons, and opossum would love to spend winter in your house. Seal any gaps around your walls, soffits, overhangs, and foundation. If you have a chimney, make sure you have a chimney cap. Keep the critters out.
    6. Protect you pipes: Shut off all outdoor faucets. Drain and store hoses. Shut off water to exterior faucets before the weather dips below freezing. If there are water supply lines in the garage, keep the garage doors closed. If the temperature has dipped to the extreme, open kitchen the and bathroom cabinet doors, to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing. Let the cold-water drip from the faucet served by exposed pipes, and keep the thermostat set to same temperature both during the day and at night and set no lower than 55° F.
    7. Let’s strip: Apply weather stripping around the frames of windows and doors to keep heat in and cold air out.
    8. Check safety devices: Check the expiration dates on your smoke detectors and fire extinguishers and make sure they are both in good working order. If your smoke detectors are 9-volt battery operated, replace them with newer sealer lithium battery detector. They possess 10-year battery life.
    9. Clean your dryer vents. When lint builds up in dryer vents not only will dryer work less efficiently, but it causes a fire.
    10. Schedule heating a checkup: Maintaining your chimney, furnace, heat pump, or boiler can prevent fires and is an important safety measure. This should be done before you turn them on.

So, find the time to inspect your home or office and take the steps to get it ready for the coming season.  The time and money you can save in preparing for winter  will be something you can really be thankful for.