The leaves are falling, the days are shorter, and we’re headed on our way to wintertime. So, is your house ready? The time is now to winterize – getting your home ready for the winter months can save you time and money in the winter and prepare you when spring rolls around.
First, get your landscaping done. Raking leaves is obvious, but did you know you should also clear your gutters and drain spouts for the incoming barrage of sleet and snow? Prune back bushes and trees that might cause damage to your house during the winter if overloaded with ice. Trim trees that have branches close to the house to keep them from banging against it in storms. Work around the exterior of your house, cleaning up the yard, putting away summer lawn equipment, and making sure that everything is sealed up nice and tight for the onset of bad weather. Make sure that if you are planting bulbs for fall you do it now…maybe you will forget about them like I do and be pleasantly surprised in the spring when they begin to show through!
Second. You need to get the winter gear together. Gas up the snow blower and generator, make sure you have snow shovels and roof rakes on hand, and stock up on firewood or pellets for your stove. Buy ice melt, sand, or salt now before stores run out when the first blizzard rolls around. And since I have been praying like crazy for snow, you better really stock up!
Third. Make sure that you service your furnace, order oil, and get everything squared away for cold weather. Install storm windows and doors and stow all of your screens. Have your chimney inspected and shore up any bricks that are crumbling, once a season is ideal. Make sure to seal doors and windows if you feel any drafts, and install weather stripping wherever it might hold the elements at bay.
Fourth. Every season has safety issues, and winter brings about the need to keep on top of carbon monoxide buildup. Make sure that carbon monoxide and smoke detectors have new batteries and are functioning properly. Check to make sure that your fire extinguishers are in good shape and accessible; this is an important step for every season.
Fifth. Enjoy your winter season! Get outside! Buy a ski pass…and use it! Get some snow shoes on and go out to Grass Lake! Winter is what you make of it, you can be holed up inside or you could enjoy all of the amazing amenities that living in Lake Tahoe offers.