The calendar may say “fall”, but winter is coming. It’ll be here before you know it. You need to start preparing your Basking Ridge home for winter right now. Why? Because you don’t want to find out your home needs repairs AFTER the first snowflakes fall.
Preparing Your Basking Ridge Home for Winter
Since the outside of your Basking Ridge home takes the brunt of Mother Nature’s wrath, you might want to start your winterizing there.
Sprinkler Blow-Out – First, if you haven’t already done so, blow out your sprinklers. This helps protect your sprinkler system from freezing during the coldest winter months. How Stuff Works offers this step-by-step instruction on how to blow out a sprinkler system. However, hire a professional if it makes you nervous to try it yourself.
Rain Gutters – Clear out your rain gutters of any debris. While you’re at it, make sure any storm drains located near your home are clear as well.
Roof – You might want a professional for this one. The little money you spend now could save you big time in the long run. Have them check for leaks, broken shingles, and integrity issues. A buildup of snow can weigh heavily on your roof, causing damage. Make sure it is strong before it gets a real-life test after a prolonged snowfall.
Windows – Invest in dual pane windows. They add an extra layer of insulation, keeping warm air in during the winter and maintaining a cool interior during the summer. New windows not in the budget right now? At the very least, you can replace old weatherstripping or dry, cracked caulking.
Miscellaneous – When preparing your Basking Ridge home for sale, the little things count, too. You should be seeing ice melters in the stores soon. Stock up. Grab a couple of extra shovels as well. As temperatures drop, these get harder to find. Fill two or three 5-gallon cans with gas to keep on hand for your snowblower, plow or even your vehicle in case you can’t make it to the gas station. Store them safely in the garage. Make sure the cap is on tight to keep fumes at a minimum. If you have a propane-powered barbecue, grab a few extra tanks to have on hand there as well. You never know. It may provide the only way to cook your food when the electricity goes out.
Windows/Doors/Outlets – Just like on the outside, check the caulking and weatherstripping of windows inside as well. When doors aren’t properly hung, they leave gaps. If you can see the outside, then you know air can pass easily through. This might be fixed by adjusting the hinges. Or, add a kick plate to the bottom and extra stripping along the sides (found in most hardware stores). The goal should be to look at your front door without seeing any light shining through. And, yes, cold air can enter through loose outlets. A little insulation as well a quick turn or two of the screw should fix that.
Chimney Sweep – Now is the time to clear out your chimney of the previous year’s soot and ash if you haven’t already. A buildup of creosote inside can lead to a chimney fire.
Furnace – While you’re cleaning out your chimney’s flue, check the seal on your furnace’s flue as well. Replace the filter to allow better circulation. Test your furnace right now by turning it on. Allow time for it to heat up. It would be much better to find out that your furnace needs to be fixed now than when it’s 30F or less and you feel like you’re living in an icebox.
Pantry – What? Why should my pantry be on my list for preparing my Basking Ridge home for winter? Because you want to make sure you have enough canned food, water, batteries, and flashlights to get you through any power outage that might come up. Keep a hand-powered can opener available, too. Or, look for cans that have easy-to-open tops. It would be awful to have the food available when the power goes out but you can’t eat it because you only have an electric can opener.
Make sure issues are taken care of before the freezing temperatures arrive. Preparing your Basking Ridge home for winter now can save you money and hassle later.
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