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Get Your Home Winter Ready

Dec/31/2023 / by rashmi-gopal-rao

Prep your interiors for the cold season

chimney with woodpile and wall with purple wallpaper
Photo via Shutterstock

The season for hot chocolate, cozy snuggles, and thick blankets is here. Winter is a wonderful time to enjoy the warm confines of your home.  So prepare your humble abode for the cold season.

SEEMA recommends an easy checklist to ensure to enjoy a stress-free new year and winter.

Inspect Your Home Heating System

Invest in an annual service or annual maintenance contract for your furnace, hot water system, or boiler pumps as it always helps to have professional help.  This inspection ensures that all repairs are done in a timely manner and the system is clean and running.  Most importantly, it also checks for carbon monoxide leakage.

Check The Roof

Examine the roof of your home, checking for cracks, broken tiles, and loose shingles to ensure that there is no leakage that may seep inside.  Also look out for moss or lichen growth, dead leaves, mushroom growth, and stagnant water. All these can lead to slow damage and eventually leakages.

Insulate The Pipes

Do a thorough check of your pipes and ensure that they are insulated to prevent damage due to pipe bursts.  Uninsulated pipes, especially in the loft, basement, or any crawling space are prone to breakage in freezing temperatures.

Inspect Tree Branches

Winters are a time for storms, and outward-growing tree branches especially in the driveway, garage, and near the power lines pose a threat.  During periods of strong winds and rain, these branches can break and fall over part of the house leading to a snap in the power lines and structural damage.  Remember to also trim long grass, perennial shrubs and any plants that shed their leaves in winter. 

De-Clog Drains and Gutters

Clearing drains and gutters is of utmost importance as dead leaves, twigs and other debris can create a formidable mass which can block the flow of rainwater.  Stagnant water again is a cause for dampness, mold growth, and eventual water seepage.

Check Doors and Windows

It is important to check your doors and windows for moisture and air leaks.  Ensure that they are properly sealed and caulked so that there is no cold air blowing in.  In case you notice an abnormal increase in your energy bills, this is one place you need to quickly check and rectify.  Door locks also need to be checked during winter as they tend to get stuck.  Applying a suitable lubricant like graphite powder will ensure that locks function as intended. 

Get Your Snow Equipment Ready

Winter usually means a lot of snow and it is key to get your snow shovel and sump pumps serviced and ready.  Make sure to winterize your sump pump by removing its discharge hose extensions before the temperatures reach freezing levels.  Clean up your deck and get ready to give your lawn mower a break by removing any fuel as it could be a fire hazard.  Do remember to remove its battery if yours is an electric mower.  Very low temperatures can shorten the life span of the battery and can cause permanent damage. 

Clean Your Fireplace

If you use a wood-burning fireplace, ensure that you get it professionally cleaned and certified for its safety.  Accumulated and unattended soot can be a potential fire threat.

Mulch Flower Beds

If you have a garden, add a layer of hardwood mulch on top to lock in the moisture and protect plants from extreme temperatures.  This facilitates good root health and allows plants to flourish.  Mulching also prevents the growth of weeds and controls soil erosion. 

Winter Décor Basics

Finally, it is important to have some décor accents to reflect the change in the season.  Whether it is the addition of rugs, heavier drapes or center table vignettes made of pinecones and candles, they all go a long way in making your home feel warm, cozy, comfortable, and totally winter ready!

Seema

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