There's nothing like a seasonal trip to the local hardware store. If you are a homeowner, then you know that there's no end to the work required to keep your home looking great and standing strong. Every season brings its challenges, but winter can be a particularly tricky time for houses. Many homeowners find themselves repairing damage caused by the ravages of winter once spring rolls around, but some proper preparation can help to ensure frustrating fixes around the house don't mar your spring.
This checklist will help you to build the perfect shopping list to ready your home for old man winter's arrival.
Start With Basic Maintenance
Minimizing the impact of cold weather on your home starts with basic maintenance tasks. Leaving these essential chores unfinished increases the chance that snow, wind, or freezing weather will cause real damage to your home. While you can fill several shopping trips with just maintenance equipment, there are a few essential items you should have:
- A reliable ladder for cleaning gutters and checking your roof
- Cleaning spray for your outdoor AC unit
- A long hose to empty sediment from your water heater
- Replacement filters for your HVAC system
Identify Problem Areas
A significant aspect of winterization is keeping the cold out so that you can keep your energy bills down. A full energy audit of your home may be overkill, but it's a good idea to try to identify spots that are drafty or that seem to take too long to warm up thoroughly. Common areas for heat loss include the bottom of the doors and the edges of windows. Depending on your level of commitment, any or all of the following items will be useful to add to your door and window sealing toolkit:
- Plastic window insulation film kits (unsightly but effective)
- Door draft guards or door sweeps
- Weatherstripping for doors and windows
- Caulk and a caulk gun to reseal major window drafts
Prepare For The Worst
If you live in an area prone to severe storms, this may mean power outages or long periods where you are trapped in your home due to unplowed roads. If your home has a fireplace, then this is an excellent time to clean it thoroughly and ensure that it is in safe working order. Additionally, purchasing a generator (or inspecting it if you already own one) might be a wise plan. Depending on your level of commitment, it is worth considering these items for a winter emergency kit:
- A small kerosene heater, especially if your house does not have a fireplace
- A portable generator
- Several flashlights and enough batteries to last for a few days
- A good snow shovel for digging yourself out
Winter can be cold and stressful, but it can also be a wonderful time of year. Visit a local hardware store to find these and other supplies for your home.