From the Desk of Clearissa Coward’s Command Center – Divinely Organized
6 Tasks You’ll Want to Check Off Your To-Do List Before Winter Settles In
Hello friends. I want you to say hello to Kacey again. She is back to share tips for winterizing your home before you settle in for the season. So enjoy this article and get ready for the winter weather.
As the winter weather sets in, there are some tasks that are better taken care of now before it’s too late and too cold. You shouldn’t have to worry about bursting pipes, backed up gutters, cold drafts or expensive power bills during the holidays.
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Check these items off your to-do list before winter hits, and your family and peace of mind will thank you for the effort:
- Gather Necessary Winter Supplies
Does your region suffer from heavy snowfall or hazardous ice? It’s best to prepare now, and gather necessary winter supplies ahead of time.
Are your ice scrapers and snow shovels in good condition? Stock up on fuel for your snow blower, and restock your home and car emergency kits. If stuck in the snow, kitty litter is useful to melt ice and unstick tires spinning muddy snow. In your car’s winter emergency kit, you’ll need:
- Kitty litter/sand
- Collapsible Shovel
- Mini tool kit
- First aid kit
- Boots/Hand Warmers/Blankets
- Emergency water and snacks
- Check Detectors
Inside your home, focus on safety. Are your detectors experiencing any problems? Are the batteries drained? It’s best to check battery status twice a year, but you need to test smoke alarms monthly. Place smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors close to potential fire hazards and on each level of the home.
Develop a family fire safety plan, marking two exits on a map for every room. Meet at an easily recognizable place a safe distance from home, such as the mailbox. Place this map on each level of your home and one in each child’s room.
- Optimize Your Home’s Energy
When winter comes, energy bills increase as you raise the temperature to compensate for the temperature drop. Optimize your home’s energy with quick adjustments and save money.
Are your windows up-to-date or are there air leaks? Upgrade your windows to an energy efficient model, or seal air leaks by caulking cracks where you feel the air moving.
You should also caulk around door gaps, but realize there comes a time when your front door needs to be replaced — a front door replacement can also save 15 to 20 percent on your energy bills every month. Does the door have insect or water damage? Is the weather-stripping worn, or is the door warped? It’s time to replace your front door, if so.
- Protect Your Plumbing
Avoid frozen pipes and leaks by installing new insulation, which will also preserve your water lines. Clean your water lines to extract clogs that cause backup and could lead to pipes bursting if they freeze.
Improve the efficiency of your water heater by flushing and draining it, which will also extend its life. Take care and wear gloves because the pipes are hot. Flushing and draining the pipes will remove calcium and magnesium buildup.
Drain any standing water and detach outdoor hoses before the first frost. Store your hoses inside. Drain outside faucets, and close interior shut-off valves to spigots in the house, so the pipes don’t freeze.
- Rid Gutters of Backup Hazards
Autumn leaves are a beautiful sight as they fall, but when they build up in your gutter, they risk backup leading to water damage. Make one of your tasks a gutter deep clean. All you need are a few tools, gloves and a tall ladder.
Remove old caulking with a chisel, and reseal cracks with new caulk. Look closely at the downspout, and remove mildew and dead leaves. Sometimes, rivets slip out of the downspout, and a rivet gun easily reseals these. Dead leaves may be used for compost.
- Complete Last Minute Lawn Tasks
Collect dead leaves and make compost for plants and trees. If there are only a few leaves, mowing the lawn will shred the leaves and help the grass absorb the nutrients for a lush lawn in the spring.
Spray a weed preventative and pull larger weeds by hand. A good time to fertilize your lawn is early fall, and you can grow a green, full lawn by mowing your grass at a higher level, which promotes deeper-growing roots.
Change the oil in your lawn equipment and clean it thoroughly. Drain any gas containers and empty gas-powered tools. Store equipment in a shelter away from the cold and wet weather.
By taking care of these six tasks before the colder weather sets in, you’ll save time and money. Your home will also be more comfortable and energy efficient. Clean your gutters and prevent pipes from bursting. Focus on safety and check detectors. Complete last minute lawn tasks, such as fertilizing and mowing your lawn and raking leaves.
Get these tasks done now, and you’ll have more time to focus on family inside a warm and secure home during the holiday season.
Kacey, thank you for visiting and sharing with us.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts.
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Until next time…I remain in my Element!
I am a summer girl all the way, but the cold has finally showed up today. Best to be prepared!! Great list!
Hi Kim. I am actually a fall and winter girl myself. 🙂 I’m happy the list was helpful.