Tips for Winterizing Your Home

As much as we would like the warm summer days to hang around, the reality is that colder days are coming. Fall is a great time to spend some time taking preventative measures and preparing your home for the winter season inside and out.
Being located in a temperate climate, snow and ice are not as much of a concern to Sunshine Coast homeowners as high levels of rainfall and strong winds.Here is a list of tasks to start crossing off of your list to help prevent untimely repairs, save money on heating and keep your family safe this Winter.

Trim the Trees: Remove any dead and overgrown branches from trees to prevent damage from falling limbs in case of a wind storm.
Inspect Your Roof: Prevent having to deal with a leaky roof in the midst of a storm by inspecting it ahead of time. Look for bent, cracked or missing shingles and have them replaced. Pay special attention to areas around chimneys, skylights, and vents.
Clean the Gutters: A clogged gutter could spell trouble when the heavy rains come. Clear your gutters to allow the rain water to drain properly through the downspouts. Rain water spilling over the sides could potentially get into your home’s foundation.Check your downspouts for any leaks and make sure they are directing water away from the foundation, walkways and driveways.

Check Your Chimney and Fireplace: Your chimney should be checked for any blockages and cleaned out before its first use of the season. And be sure to add a chimney cap if you don’t already have one, it will help stop critters from crawling down your chimney!If you have a wood-burning fireplace get it cleaned and inspected by a certified chimney sweep. Built-up creosote and soot can ignite and cause a fire.
Turn Off Outdoor Water Taps: Remove and drain all garden hoses before storing them indoors. Turn off exterior taps to protect your pipes from freezing. Drain and winterize your irrigation systems.
Test Outdoor Lights: For both safety and ambiance test exterior lighting and replace bulbs before daylight fades.Test lights on the front and back porch, on the garage and in the landscape, and replace bulbs as needed.

Furnace Tune Up: While you can probably change the filters yourself, you might want to call in the professionals to give your furnace a once-over and check for any carbon monoxide build up before turning up the heat. Your radiators, baseboard heaters, ducts and vents should all be checked for dust build up and anything that may have made it into them. 
Weatherstripping: Help boost winter warmth and cut energy costs by checking your window and door seals for drafts. Any cracks should be sealed with caulking or weatherstripping. Door sweeps can be added to the base of drafty doors to keep heat in and cold air out and electrical outlets may need insulation gaskets.
Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Fall is a great time to give some thought to safety by making sure that all your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Stock up on batteries so you are not in a pinch when they are needed.
Clean Dryer Vents: Lint buildup in dryer vents can make a dryer work less efficiently and potentially cause a fire. Fall is a great time to get that lint cleaned out.

The best way to preserve and maintain your home’s value is with regular and consistent maintenance. It's best to take care of any problems before they become problems.