10 Tips to Get Ready for Winter

The colder weather is coming, is your house ready?

We all like to hold on to the warm days and sunshine as long as possible, but living in Michigan, we know that the cold weather will be here sooner than we would like. While the days are still warm and the sun is still shining, take some time to go through these 10 tips to help get your house ready for the cold weather!

1. Make Sure Your Gutters and Downspouts are Clear and Free of Debris

Making sure that your gutters are cleaned out will help prevent ice dams during the cold winter months. Ice dams can lead to water damage inside your home that can cost a significant amount to repair. Timing is important when it comes to cleaning your gutters. With the leaves just starting to fall here in Michigan, you want to make sure you wait until the trees are almost completely bare. You also want to make sure you check your downspouts for any clogs. You can choose to hire a professional or clean them out yourself, (although we recommend following good safety protocols if you do them yourself!)

2. Trim Trees

Take a look around your house for any trees that appear to have overgrown or dead branches. Trimming those branches now will help keep them from breaking during winter months when they are heavy with ice and snow. Not only does it save you the inconvenience of a tree limb coming through your living room window, trimming tree is important for the overall health of your tress.

3. Check you Grading around your House and Walkways

While you are out checking for overgrown tree branches, take a look at the grading around your house and walkways. It is important to make sure that you have proper grading to help direct water away from the house when the snow and ice begins to melt in spring. If the water is not directed away from the house, you could end up with water around your foundation which can lead to damage of your foundation walls and water seeping through. Taking time to redirect the flow of water now could save you thousands of dollars in water damage and foundation repair.

4. Weather Stripping for your Doors

Ever walked past your front door on a cold January night and feel a slight breeze? Chances are it is time to replace your weather stripping. This can be an easy fix that will save you money on your heating bill in the cold winter months. Weather Stripping kits can be bought at any local hardware stores and are easy to apply. Make sure you read the instructions thoroughly, it is usually recommended to replace them before the weather gets too cold to ensure they adhere correctly.

5. Clean up your Patio Furniture and Grill

Ever look out your window after that first snow and realize your patio furniture is still outside and now it is covered in snow? While the weather is nice, make sure you take time to go outside and protect your patio furniture from the cold and snow. If moving all your furniture inside a garage for winter isn’t an option for you, there are many different types of covering available that will keep the snow and cold from damaging your furniture. Make sure to give your grill a good cleaning inside and out before you cover it up for the winter months (you don’t want any critters to make it their new home in the next few months!)

6. Check you Outdoor Lighting

It’s going to start to get darker earlier and making sure your outdoor lighting is working will help keep your guests safe, not to mention, you want to make sure the pizza guy can find your house on a cold dark night! Check for burnt out lightbulbs and replace as necessary. It is also important to make sure your address is properly displayed and easy to read.

7. Inspect Your Roof

Snow is heavy and no one wants to discover a problem with their roof when you are buried under a foot of snow. Take a look at your roof and make sure that you don’t see any areas that look to be damaged and need repair before winter comes. Also look for any areas that may need to have debris cleaned off.

8. Buy a Programmable Thermostat

It’s expensive to run your heat in the winter. One easy way to cut down on costs is to buy a programmable thermostat. You can set a schedule so that when you are at work or school your heat runs at a lower temperature than when you are home. Some thermostats even run through apps on your phone so you can control your heat from your desk.

9. Check your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors

As it gets colder outside and you are running your heat more frequently or lighting fires in the fireplace, it is so important to make sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning properly. Replace batteries as needed and make sure that the units are still operational and functioning properly. It could literally save your life!

10. Buy a Warm Blanket and Load up your Netflix Queue

As the days get shorter and colder, it is inevitable that we will all be spending more time inside. Make those times inside cozy and memorable by loading up your Netflix queue now and getting a good warm blanket to snuggle up on the couch.

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