As the seasons change, taking care of your home is an important habit to create. Each season brings different weather patterns, and in turn, different needs for your home. As you head into the colder months, here is a simple checklist of things to work through to best prepare your home for winter.

1. Check your heating and cooling systems. Most heating and air systems last 12-15 years, the length will likely be due to how well it was maintained. Before the cold hits, change your filters. It would help to go the extra step and have a contractor come out and do an annual inspection of your HVAC.

2. Replace old windows that might let cool air in. Single-pane windows lack proper insulation, causing your energy bill to go up as you try and keep your house warm.

3. Have your roof inspected for areas that might cause leaks. If needed have a roofer repair any sections of the roof or breaks in the seals around vents or the chimney.

4. Restock winter essentials. Make a list of must-haves to care for your home during the cold months and stock up ahead of time. Things such as salt or ice melt, snow shovel, and any shelf-stable food and bottled water.

5. Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Did you know that most fires happen in the winter? Heaters are blasting, you’re building a fire, and your home is likely closed tight making carbon monoxide a bigger hazard. Do a simple run of the house to check all your smoke detectors, and if you don’t already have a carbon monoxide detector, now is the time to order one!

6. Clean, seal, caulk and protect any exterior wood. This means trim on the house, window frames, or any large decking areas. If water can get inside, then it will likely rot and need to be replaced. Continuing to upkeep caulking and sealing properly will prevent a larger and more expensive project.

7. Check your drainage systems. As you walk the perimeter of your home, you want to make sure that water is flowing away from the exterior and not pooling or draining towards your house. Too much water could affect foundation, deterioration, water infiltration, and sitting water under concrete or walkways.

8. Order firewood or check your chimney. You don’t want to wait until it’s already freezing and miss out on the cozy fire. So, get ahead of the cold weather and check it off the list ahead of time!

9. Check your trees. Before all the leaves fall check and make sure any trees near the exterior of your home, especially those that have limbs hanging above any roofing, are healthy and not dying. If you have any branches that are up against your house or roof, now would be a good time to trim those back as well.

10. Clean your gutters. If your gutters are full, they can hold water which can then back up and damage roofing, siding, trim, and cause leaks. While you are at it, inspect any gutters that need to be replaced or fixed.

11. Turn off and drain faucets. To prevent freezing pipes, which result in a bursting pipe, you need to drain excess water. Before a freeze, disconnect and drain hoses, turn off the shut-off valve inside your home, and drain your sprinkler system.

12. Mulch your leaves. Instead of mowing with your bag attached, allow your mower to cut the leaves and leave them in the yard. This will nourish your yard over the winter months.

Taking the time to prepare your home for winter will not only help lower utilities but will protect your home from potential damage the freezing months could cause. The time to care for your home is worth the investment! If you have questions about how you can protect your home before a winter storm, or your house experiences damage after a storm contact Alliance Roofing Company.