Winterizing your home for Holiday Travels

Do you plan to do any traveling over the winter holiday? A ski vacation? Maybe you’re visiting family or friends out of town? Well, if you haven’t already, now is the time to winterize your home, especially if you plan to leave your home unattended over the winter holidays.

Here are 10 tips to help you ensure that your home is prepared for harsh winter weather and that it will be in the same shape when you return as it was when you left.

1. Check all exterior doors and windows for cracks or crevices that could allow drafts in and use weatherstriping and/or caulk to seal any problem areas up. Switch out summer screens with glass replacements and install storm windows, if you have them.

2. Inspect roof and replace worn roof shingles or tiles. Clean out gutters with a hose to clear away any debris.

3. Have your furnace inspected by a professional and clean your air ducts. If you haven’t already, switch to a programable thermostat.

4. Prepare your fireplace by screening the top off to keep animals out. Have the chimney professional cleaned to remove soot and creosote. Refill your firewood stock pile.

5. Install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Last week, we introduced CO as winter’s silent killer. Test them and keep extra replacement batteries on hand.

6. Protect your home from the outside by trimming tree branches that hang over or near the home and move any fragile potted plants to a protected are or inside.

7. Check your foundation and remove all visible debris. To keep animals from crawling under the home, seal up any vulnerable entry points.

8. Prepare your plumbing by draining all garden hoses and insulating all exposed pipes.

9. Get your winter-related tools like snow blowers, snow shovels, ice choppers and ice-melt and sand. Drain gas from your lawnmower – it won’t be getting much use until the warmer months return!

10. Lastly, prepare an emergency kit of candles and matches, spare batteries, utility company phone numbers, bottled water and non-perishable food. For reference, see the emergency kit we prepared for Hurricane Season.

Thank you flikr user la fattina for the photo.