No matter where you live in the USA, you need to make sure that your house is adequately prepared for winter. You might think that you can get away with little work if you live somewhere with a milder climate like California, as you will obviously not need to put in as much work as someone in Minnesota or upstate New York. However, this is not true, as there are some tasks which everyone needs to do. Here are some of the key tasks you need to think about before winter hits.
Get the Winter Gear Out of Storage
Sensible families will have all their winter gear packed away so that it isn’t taking up vital storage space at other times of the year. However, as the temperature begins to drop, you should think about getting this gear out again.
At the same time, you should make sure that you are packing up the summer gear. Your family might be sad to see their summer toys and clothes packed up for a few months, but it is a necessary step. You need to ensure that the bulky winter clothing and gear has plenty of room in your home.
Go through each piece you are taking out of storage and assess its quality. You might need to replace some things if they are getting too worn. The sooner you can do this, the better the price is likely to be. Try to get your things before there is a serious demand for them means that you can easily avoid any price hikes from retailers.
Clear Your Gutters
This is maybe one of the most hated household tasks but it is also one which is incredibly important. You have to make sure that you are cleaning your gutters before winter hits, and you ideally want to add it to your spring clean too.
Get a ladder and go through all of your gutters to make sure that there is no debris blocking them. Leaves and other mulch might not slide through your gutters easily and they can cause serious damage to your home if left unattended. One of the worst things which might happen is that heavy rainfall might get trapped in the gutters instead of draining away. This could cause the gutters to overload and actually come away from your home. Not only could this cause significant damage to the outer walls of your property, but it could also be expensive to fix.
When the gutters are clear, you should flush a few litres of water through them. Not only will this pick up any dirt which might be left behind, but it might also reveal a few leaks in the pipes at the same time. Make sure that you fix these pipes before winter arrives.
Check the Yard
Yardwork can be kept to a minimum in the winter but that doesn’t mean that you won’t have some work to do in the run-up. The first thing you will have to do is give the grass a final cut. If you live in a particularly warm climate, you might even find that the grass keeps growing even winter, requiring more cutting. You also need to stay on top of weeding and any major leaf drops so your garden will be more accessible and easier to deal with come spring.
If you have a lot of summer toys or a pool, you also need to make sure that you take the time to get these ready for winter. The summer toys will all need to be put away in storage, and the pool might require a final clean and some further maintenance to get it through the winter months.
Double-check the Windows
Leaks might not only be in your guttering. If you have noticed a draught during the summer, fall is the perfect time for you to replace the window or door which might be causing the issues. You need to make sure that you replace these now so you are not bothered by them come winter. What might be a perfectly fine draught now could end up being a major issue if you have poor weather. Not only will heat escape but you might also end up with water damage and other issues coming in.
This can all be headed off if you take the time to find replacements for your windows. While you can do this yourself, it is always better to instead head to an expert to find the right windows for you. You could find ones which match the existing ones or you could go for something completely new. The right company will be able to guide you through the entire process from the initial consultation to installation and a final check. Check out this link to see more about the services and products you could get from the professionals: https://www.americanvisionwindows.com/locations/san-diego/
Sort Out Your Woodpile
If a wood-burning stove or fireplace is a major heat source for you in the colder months, you need to make sure that it is properly stocked before things get cold. One of the worst things you could face is the possibility of running out of fuel; especially if you live in an isolated rural location where it can be difficult to get your hands on more fuel. You need to make sure that you have enough to last you through the winter and then some.
There are two clear options here; either buy the fuel you need from a supplier or a neighbour, or you could chop it yourself. Buying the wood will allow you to get everything you need in one go but it can be extremely expensive. You might also have to go and collect it yourself if you cannot arrange a delivery. If you decide to chop it yourself, this is going to be extremely time-consuming. You are going to have to first fell the trees and then break them down into workable pieces of fuel. They will also need to dry out before you can burn them.
You are also going to need to find an adequate place to store them if you do not already have a wood store ready-made. The fuel will be useless if you cannot find a dry spot to keep them in. Make sure that you leave enough time to complete this task fully, no matter which route you take. It might be difficult if you have a full schedule to work around it, but it is important that you tick it off the list.
Plan for Events
With winter comes several fun events and holidays; mainly Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Are you going to be hosting any of them? The sooner you can get started planning these, the easier you are going to find the organisation closer to the time! Your extended family and friends might not want to think about it just yet, but the sooner you can get a definite number of heads the better.
The first thing you should work out is where you are going to put everyone. If a meal is involved, you might have to split the adults and the children up to be able to get everyone around the table. Will the kids need to be nearby or can they be trusted in a room by themselves? Do you put the teenagers with the adults or the children? These are some considerations which need to be made.
If people are going to stay the night, you should work out where everyone is going to sleep. People might have to move between rooms at the last moment and you need to make sure that you have the room and supplies needed for them all to sleep comfortably. Don’t be afraid to ask for people to bring their own blow-up mattresses and sleeping bags.
With these logistics out the way, you can finally turn to food. While no-one wants to eat leftovers for days at a time, it is always going to be better to have too much food instead of not enough. If you are feeling the pressure of the kitchen, ask those attending to bring dishes. Whether they are turning up with hot food or something which can easily be reheated, you will find it much easier to feed everyone with a little help.
Preparation is Key
Winter is a busy time and it can be hard to keep on top of everything you need to do. If you are struggling to think of precisely what needs doing, walk around your home and make a list. That way, you can be certain that nothing is being forgotten while you prepare. Preparation is truly the key to this period. The more organised you can be, the easier you will be able to overcome the challenges thrown at you. Take the time to prepare for the winter months as soon as you can so you are able to sit back and relax once the holidays arrive!