10 Ways to Get Your Carroll County Home Ready for Winter

Melissa E. Spittel
Published on September 29, 2016

10 Ways to Get Your Carroll County Home Ready for Winter

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Another summer has ended, and it’s time to enjoy the pleasures of fall: cooler temperatures, sweatshirts, football, post-season baseball, vibrant leaves and pumpkins, to name a few. It’s also time to get your Carroll County home ready for winter by tackling a few simple chores. While chores tend to be dreaded, these tips will make winter more pleasant and prevent some nasty surprises next spring.

Inspect and clean gutters and downspouts

Clogged gutters can cause water from rain and melting snow or ice to not drain properly. This can cause damage to the roof and exterior of your home, as well as the foundation. Get your Carroll County home ready for winter by checking out those gutters and downspouts.

 

Seal gaps and cracks around windows and doors with weather-stripping and caulk.

Drafty windows should be sealed in the fallSealing gaps is an easy and affordable way to lower your winter heating costs. This will help keep the heat indoors and the cold outdoors. Drafts will be minimized. Weather-stripping wears out over time and often needs to be replaced. Now is a great time to check it and replace if needed. Replacing missing or damaged
caulk will also help make your Carroll County home more energy-efficient during the cold winter months. As a bonus, sealing gaps will also benefit you in the summer, too.

 

 Inspect your roof for damaged, missing or curled shingles, corroded or damaged flashing, or leaky vents.
Roof maintenance includes checking for missing, broken and curled shingles

Roofs are a major component of our homes. When a roof leaks, interior damage is likely to occur as well, especially if the leak persists. When heavy ice and snow are on a roof, finding the source of a problem can be difficult, as well as dangerous to repair. While you’re cleaning the gutters, why not take the time to check the roof as well? It’s a great way to get your Carroll County home ready for winter!

Repair damaged sidewalks, driveways and steps

Existing damage (cracks, gaps, uneven sections and loose railings) are a hazard all year long. During the fall, inspect your driveway for cracks and other areas that may need repairIf not corrected during the fall, they can become a greater hazard and safety issue when snow and ice are on the ground. Additionally, postponing repairs can end up costing more in the spring due to continued damage during the winter.

 

 Drain and winterize outdoor faucetsDrain outdoor faucets before winter to prevent freezing and bursting

Draining outside faucets is essential to ensure your pipes don’t freeze and burst. If you have separate shut-off valves, now is a great time to turn them off as well. Get your Carroll County home ready for winter by minimizing the potential for frozen pipes.

 Change the filters.

Filters trap dust and allergens that would otherwise end up inside your home: on furniture, floors, in the air you breathe, etc. Dirty, clogged filters are ineffective and can also increase your utility bills and make it harder for your Carroll County home to maintain a desired temperature. Depending on the type of filters in your home, now is the time to clean or replace those filters.

 

Have a professional inspect your heating system.

To avoid heating issues during the winter, now is a great time to schedule a check-up by a licensed HVAC technician. The technician will be able to detect any potential problems that should be
addressed before you turn on the heat. As a bonus, the technician will also be able to offer you tips on keeping it running efficiently to keep your heating bills under control.

 

Have your chimney cleaned to remove soot and creosote build-up. 

Creosote is created by the burning of wood, and is flammable. When it accumulates in a chimney or flue, Regular chimney inspections will help ensure you don't have a chimney firethe chances of a devastating fire increases. Get your Carroll County homes ready for winter by calling a licensed chimney sweep to inspect and clean your chimney. This maintenance will greatly minimize your risk of fire. Birds also love to build nests in chimneys that are not capped. A nest in a chimney can also catch fire easily. A chimney sweep will also check for any foreign objects in your chimney that could affect the chimney’s function. Lastly, make sure your chimney is checked for cracks, and loose or broken joints. When your chimney is in use, it’s essential it be in the best possible condition.

 

Test smoke and CO monitors, inspect (or install) fire extinguishers.

Fire extinguishers should be stored near the kitchenSmoke detectors and CO detectors are an affordable way to protect ourselves and our loved ones. If you have battery operated detectors, be sure to replace the batteries. A good rule of thumb is to replace the batteries in the fall and again in the spring when you turn your clocks either backward or forward. Regardless of which type of detectors you have, now is the perfect time to test them by pressing the “test” button. Make sure you have detectors on every floor in your home. It’s better to be safe than sorry! Also, every Carroll County home should have a fire extinguisher that is no more than 6 years old. If you don’t have one, think about purchasing one and keeping it near the kitchen. Then, make sure you know how to use it, just in case you ever need it.

Fertilize your lawn
Fall is a greFertilize your Carroll County lawn in the fallat time to fertilize your lawn. Get your Carroll County home ready for winter by providing your grass with the nutrients it needs. The nutrients in fertilizer are required for the winter when the top layer of grass is dormant but the root systems continue to grow. During this period roots easily absorb and store the nutrients a good fertilizer will provide and fall fertilizing will also help your lawn “green-up” faster in early spring.

 

It’s helpful to start prepping your Carroll County home for winter before it actually arrives.  Why wait until potential problems surface during the rough weather to come? Use the above tips to get your home’s interior and exterior in tip-top shape for the cold season. Although mild weather can sometimes drag on, colder weather is just around the corner. Keep these tips in mind so you can get your Carroll County home ready for winter and keep it in good shape during the winter months.

 

 

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