Winterize Your First Home Before the Snow Falls
Your first home is more than a place to live. It’s where you learn how to mow the yard the “right way.” It’s where you figure out whether a dishwasher is a necessity or a luxury. That first house is where you begin to fully realize the benefits – and responsibilities – of adulthood through home ownership. Now that fall is here, it’s time to start thinking about how you will handle winter in your first home.
Yes, you could simply let the snow fly and play catch up all season out in the cold, windy winter (at least that’s how it is in our northern states and our home state of Michigan). You’ll end up with icicles and ice dams and possibly water damage in the spring, simply because your gutters and downspouts are clogged. That's not a good thing for your first home. Or you could get up on the roof in the winter and brave the icy pitch. You might even consider just knocking the icicles off the roof and make it a game. But all of these solutions pale in comparison to just being prepared for winter.
Have you checked the furnace? Is your thermostat programmable so it’s warm when you get home from work? What about putting up holiday decorations like Christmas lights? Do you want to wait until a snow storm makes it feel like winter?
It’s time to think about winterizing your first home, while it’s nice enough outside to get the work done. You can even set up a weekly schedule of things to do so you’re not scrambling on Thanksgiving to get it all done before the Detroit Lions play. Or before you fall into a turkey coma.
Don't Let Icicles Leave You Out in the Cold
Icicles look nice on a Thomas Kincaid painting. But they’re dangerous on your house. They can fall and hit people (Seriously, it happened to my daughter. She’s okay, but it was scary.) Icicles can become heavy, ripping down your gutters. They’re a precursor to ice dams, which can cause major water damage to your roof and walls.
One of the easiest ways to minimize icicles is to clean out your gutters and downspouts in the fall. You can do this with a tall ladder, or from the roof itself. Use caution – we don’t want you falling off.
Take care to make sure your downspouts are also clean. A jam at the bottom of a downspout can act like a dam, filling up that pipe all the way to your roof. Keeping these clean before winter will also ensure a clean and efficient thaw in the spring.
This is an excerpt from "Winterize Your First Home," a free guide for the first time home owner. Download your copy today and get your home ready for winter before the snow falls. And if it's not your first home, go ahead and download it. Winter's coming whether it's your first home or not.
(creative commons photo credit)