Brothers shoveling snow at home
Dabl At Home Dec 2020
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Dabl at Home

It’s Time To Start Preparing Your Home For The Winter With Our Dabl Winterization Checklist!

Use our checklist to help prepare your home for the colder weather that’s coming in the months ahead!

Winter will be here before we know it! Before we can rely on our house to keep us warm in the colder weather, we have to show our home some TLC in advance. The temperature in every state is capable of dipping below freezing, with some locales seeing temperature dip below zero degrees fahrenheit. Without proper preparation, these temperatures can harm your home by putting too much stress on your roof, causing electrical damage, or freezing pipes to the point of bursting. But when you follow the 10 steps on our Dabl Winterization checklist in advance, you and your home will be more than ready to weather the upcoming Winter. You’ll be able to rest assured that your house will be in good condition when Spring arrives and you can stay cozy and stress-free inside your home while you wait out the cold. 

1.) Insulate, insulate, and did we mention insulate? 

Now is the time to start insulating your house for the Winter. Doing so helps make your home more energy efficient, which can save you money on your electricity bill, and keeps the house warmer overall. What and how much you’ll need to insulate may vary depending on your house’s specific requirements and where you live, but here are some general insulation tips to remember. First, you’ll want to draft-proof your doors by adding lining, using weather and threshold seals, caulking, or using weather stripping. Similarly, you’ll want to winter-proof your windows by using weather strips, foam tape, or window film. You may also want to hang insulated curtains for the season and reglaze your windows if the current glass is damaged or weak. Lastly, check your home, and attic or basement if you have one, for holes, cracks, or damage that could let in cold air and unwanted critters. Now is the time to seal, caulk, repair, and paint. 

2.) Protect your home’s exterior. 

Usually the wood used on your deck or patio will be chosen because it is pressure treated and rot resistant. But any wood around your home that isn’t pressure treated or rot resistant, such as wood trim around doors and windows, needs to be sealed to prevent rot and decay caused by moisture. You can do this by making sure caulking is in good condition or re-caulking, and by getting rid of bad paint and repainting when necessary. Sometimes concrete on your driveway or walkways may also benefit from a concrete sealer. 

Similarly, make sure to protect any outdoor furniture or objects that could be damaged by inclement weather. For example, you may want to cover your patio furniture before it gets too rainy or snowy. Make sure you pick a nice, warm day to cover it so you don’t lock in moisture that could damage your furniture. 

3.) Make sure your heating system is in good condition.

Make sure your heating system is in good condition before it is literally freezing outside. Depending on how cold it gets where you live, being without heat in your home could be considered an emergency. In extreme cold, you will probably want to ensure your home is heated to at least 65 degrees fahrenheit to prevent the inside walls from freezing, if not hotter. Therefore, it’s a good idea to schedule an HVAC inspection with a local professional now and make any repairs or replacements before you are desperate for heat. As part of the HVAC inspection, the professional will also check to make sure your furnace and water heater are in good condition and properly vented, which is important for preventing carbon monoxide gas leaks. Now is also a great time to clean and replace HVAC filters. 

4.) Show your fireplace some love. 

Before you start burning the annual yule log, make sure to have your fireplace cleaned and inspected. You’ll want to ensure the fireplace, chimney, and vents are clean and in working order to prevent possible fires and possible carbon monoxide exposure. In areas that get extremely cold, you’ll also want to confirm the fireplace flue closes properly when not in use to prevent unwanted drafts. Once you know your fireplace is in good working order, all you have to do is be comfy and cozy. We recommend ordering plenty of firewood in advance so you’re stocked up before it’s in high demand. 

5.) Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. 

Despite being the coldest time of the year, the most house fires consistently occur during the Winter. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make sure your home’s smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly. For older homes that don’t have carbon monoxide detectors, you may want to consider installing some as exposure to odorless carbon monoxide gas can be deadly. Obviously we hope you never have a fire or gas emergency in your home, but making sure you have working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors means you will have maximum notice to get yourself, your loved ones, and your pets to safety. The earlier you know there is an emergency, the sooner you will also be able to call for help to put out the fire and minimize damage to your home as much as possible as well. 

6.) Clean the gutters.

Your gutters are probably full of debris. While it’s normally not a huge problem, during the Winter these debris can cause water blockages and backups that can damage your home’s roofing, siding, and wood trim. When gutters overflow, they can pour unwanted water into your home’s foundation, basement, porches, and walkways. This leads to the outside of your home deteriorating faster than normal and a whole host of other problems. 

Plus, cleaning the gutters is a way to prevent ice dams. Ice dams are a ridge of ice that forms along the edge of your roof that prevents melting snow from leaving your roof. This creates a particularly large backup of water that can cause a lot of damage. Plus, unstable icicles and ice dams can fall and potentially injure somebody who happens to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. 

7.) Prepare for all kinds of water. 

Speaking of water, it’s time to check your drainage systems and prepare for an influx of water, ice, and snow. For example, you may want to add extensions to your home’s downspouts to make sure water drains at least a few feet away from your home to prevent damage to your house’s foundation. As mentioned above, the influx of freezing water can cause your home to deteriorate too soon. 

Since freezing temperatures can cause pipes and faucets to burst, you will want to turn off all exterior faucets that are not freeze-proof. You will also want to drain lawn irrigation systems to avoid freezing or leaks and winterize your pipes. If you have a pool, make sure you properly shut down all equipment and cover your pool to protect it from harsh weather, algae, and unwanted stains. 

8.) Inspect your roof for debris and damage. 

If you can safely inspect your roof yourself to look for debris and damage prior to Winter, it’s a good idea to do so. If you can’t safely access your roof, consider hiring a professional to conduct an inspection and roof tune-up for you. You’ll want to scan carefully to identify broken shingles or breaks around flashing seals, vents, and chimneys. When left unfixed, this type of damage can lead to leaks or water damage caused by melting snow or Winter storms. You will also want to remove any fall leaves or pine needles that have landed on your roof, as these can retain a surprisingly large amount of moisture. 

9.) Prepare your garden for a good Spring. 

While you’re winterizing your property, you might as well do the groundwork to prepare your garden, lawn, or yard for a good Spring. When it gets a bit colder in September or October, it’s a good time to overseed your grass to promote new growth. Then as it gets colder, you can apply winterizer with fertilizer to set your lawn up for success when Spring rolls around again. 

In addition, you will want to make sure any trees on your property are in good shape. Dying trees may not be obvious, but need to be identified because they could fall, potentially crashing into your home or your neighbor’s home. If there are any trees or branches close to your house, now is the time to trim them. You won’t want ice-coated branches pressed against your siding or windows. Plus, it will eliminate possible pathways that critters might use if they are trying to seek warmth in your house. 

Lastly, properly store away all your expensive gardening and lawn maintenance equipment. Tools that use gas, such as lawn mowers, may need to be drained. This is because the gas can go bad over time, which can damage your equipment and make it run poorly. 

10.) Restock your Winter essentials. 

Winter means something different to everyone, but what we can all agree on is that you should stock up on your essentials for the season in advance so you can be ready for those colder days. Take inventory of what you already have, and consider what you will want to purchase. This could be anything from boot trays to store wet shoes, mats to avoid slipping when you come inside, snowblowers and shovels for snow plowing, or simply your favorite brand of hot chocolate. You may also want to take inventory of your closet to make sure you have plenty of warm, comfy clothes and proper snowshoes or rain boots. In addition, stock up on moisturizer and chapstick to keep your skin happy in the cold, dry air, and make sure you have plenty of cozy blankets and indoor activities to stay warm and busy. 

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