There’s nothing like the warm, cozy feeling of a crackling fire and a cup of cocoa while snow falls outside. But wait! You didn’t prepare your home for winter, so now your toasty visions of tranquility have to be set aside for the cold reality of busted pipes, frozen gutters and drafty hallways. If you want to avoid this fate, here are 12 tips for clean your home and winter-proof it before winter actually arrives.
- Find the Cracks
A small draft can give you a big chill. Examine all of your doors, windows and access points for cracks, gaps, holes, fissures and anything else that might allow cold air to sneak its way inside. If you find any tell-tale signs of draftiness, use caulk to seal the leak.
- Test Your Smoke Detectors
According to the U.S. Fire Administration’s National Fire Incident Reporting System, Christmas trees cause more than 200 house fires each year! It’s absolutely critical that you test things like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Ensure that they’re working. Replace their batteries if necessary. Your family’s safety is worth the effort!
- Clean Your Carpet
While this is technically a chore that can be done any time, you know in your heart that you won’t bother with it when the days are short, cold and packed with a million holiday activities that demand your attention. So go ahead and get it done now. You’ll appreciate your hard work when you have the in-laws over for turkey!
- Insulate Everything
When the weather outside is frightful, insulation is delightful. Cover your doors, window, pipes, heaters and dog flaps with insulating material. Not only will you prevent sniffles in your children, but you’ll also protect your property from harm. Pipes in particular are very vulnerable to damage after repeated freeze-thaw cycles.
- Check Your Furnace
Speaking of heaters, give your HVAC system a test run before winter officially arrives. Listen for any strange noises. Make note of any performance issues. If something is wrong, you’ll want to get a repairman to your home before you’re stuck in a -10F° blizzard with six inches of snow outside.
- Wash Your Windows
Your windows will be shut tight for most of the season, so now is the time to clear away dust, dirt and dead bugs. You don’t want these things accumulating even more during a long winter. Think about your child’s first snow day, too! Where’s the magic in gazing out at a winter wonderland when the glass is so streaked that you can barely tell a snowman from a smudge?
- Tidy the Yard
Pack away your lawn chairs. Put your grill in the garage. Gather all of your child’s toys and pool floats. When you know that snow is inevitable, there’s no point in letting your outdoor knick-knacks stay on the lawn and tempt fate. It will start snowing the very instant that you think “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
- Poke Around Your Chimney
Channel your inner Dick Van Dyke and become a chimney sweep for a day. While a deep cleaning will need to be saved for the professionals, you can perform a DIY inspection with a long broom handle and ensure that no bugs or birds will come fleeing through your fireplace when you toast your first s’more!
- Mind the Attic
Unless you’ve remodeled your attic in the last 10-15 years, it probably lacks the insulation that modern builders take pains to install. Your best bet is to go upstairs and cover everything, but if you lack the time or budget for an extensive insulation effort, just seal off the attic door for the winter.
- Change Your Fabrics
Maybe you have thick drapes to replace your summer blinds. Maybe you bust out the wool comforters instead of the summer sheets. However you prepare for winter’s chill, go ahead and get it done all at once instead of incrementally.
- Check Those Gutters
Are your gutters packed with leaves, branches and other debris? It’s time to grab a ladder and clean them. Cluttered gutters are more than just an ugly sight; they can become a legitimate safety hazard when their contents freeze and drop on unsuspecting people below.
- Replace Your Heavy-Duty Items
If you need a new washer, dryer, mattress, carpet or garbage disposal, buy it and have it installed before winter rears its frosted head. No one likes hauling such heavy things through the cold! You’ll need to prop your front door open, and the delivery men will hate you, and it’ll generally be an unpleasant situation that you could’ve avoided with a little forethought.
These are just a few tips for winterizing your home before Frosty the Snowman becomes your constant companion. Don’t put it off! A little preparation today can save you a lot of headache tomorrow. Don’t have time? You can always hire a house cleaning service near you and get you home safe and all prepped up for the winter!
Bio – This guest post was created by Maids by Trade. For over 20 years, Maids by Trade has been a trusted, reliable house cleaning service for homes all across the United States.