Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, November 6, 2015

Winterize your home

Do It Yourself

April Sherrill

The temperatures throughout October this year were very mild and nice considering usually that is when we usually feel our first cold snap. It never fails that it is always right before I go trick or treating with my children, however, this year it was nice with temperatures in the sixties.

The cold is coming though, and it will come like a thief in the night. Quickly, sveltely, unforeseen – it will hit us all at once. Our winters have the problem of turning up out of nowhere, and in one fell swoop it goes from the sixties to thirties. All of a sudden you walk out of the house with your tank top and sandals, but are hit with a freight train of cold air, and ultimately you come back outside in a scarf, boots, and the comfiest sweater you own.

I have pulled a list of tips to help you prepare for winter this year. I came across many lists on the Internet that just seemed so long and daunting that I felt I would never get anything done because it was so intimidating. I hope that this concise list will help someone else!

Make sure to clean the gutters very thoroughly. While cleaning the gutters always check the draining in the downspouts and eliminate any clogs that can create drainage problems. 

Replace weather stripping on all needed doors. If you are like me, then you do not change the weather stripping until you notice the cold breeze coming through. The problem is the adhesive does not work as well if applying in the winter months. Oops! Let’s get this done before it gets cold outside this year.

If you own or rent a home with a basement, check the grading around the foundation to ensure it stays dry. Build your flowerbeds up so that water runs away from the house.

Trim your trees. You want to trim the trees while there are still leaves on them so you know which branches need to be trimmed.

Mulch vulnerable trees/plants – add an excessive layer of much to trees and plants, especially newer ones to help them make it through the cold winter months.

Pack up all outdoor furniture and décor to prevent it from sitting in the harsh cold conditions. Doing this will greatly extend the life on the outside living arrangements.

Drain gasoline and oil from the lawn equipment.

Fertilize and reseed the lawn. Fall is the best time to start or revitalize a new lawn.

Roll up and store hoses, and winterize the faucets. Cold weather can be so damaging to pipes that have not been prepared for cold weather.

Remove leaves and remove foliage debris from the yard and flowerbeds. Start a compost pile with the debris for spring.

Have the chimney cleaned and inspected once a year. Creosote buildup in the flue can cause a fire. When the first cold snap comes, you want to be ready to for a cozy fire in the fireplace.

Inspect the roof and repair or replace any missing shingles, and remove any branches hanging over the roof.

Re-caulk around the windows.

Have the HVAC serviced. You do not want to have to pay for an emergency repair when you use it for the first time.

Switch the fan blades. Making the fan blades run clockwise will push warmer air down.

Preparing the home for the upcoming cold months can seem daunting without a plan. Ideally, this list will make it seem a little less ruthless. All of this can be tackled in one to two days depending on how many people are helping! 

Happy fall!

April Sherrill is a staff writer for the Hamilton County Herald. Contact her at april@dailydata.com.   v