As the summer months wind down and the leaves start to fall from the trees, you need to think about preparing your home for the coming winter. Maybe this is your first winter owning a home, or have never experienced an Idaho winter before.
If unprepared, an Idaho winter can leave you cold with burst pipes and even a leaky roof. While it’s still warm outside, you should do these tasks to get your home nice and cozy for the coming freeze.
Clean Your Gutters
Before winter, you need to be ready for fall, and the big issue with fall is leaves everywhere. They cover your grass, roads, roofs and your gutters. Plus, you might see some cold rain pouring down during these months. If your gutters are not cleaned out, you might have water damage or flooding around your house.
Before fall even starts, get up and clean out the gutters. You likely will have some leaves, dirt, and roofing run off leaving a layer in your gutter. Get this muck out before leaves start falling to limit how much will stick in your gutters.
Later in the season, once all the leaves are down, clean the gutters again. This should help prevent snow melt causing issues and help drain it away from your home.
Prepare Your Lawn For Winter
Before the first freeze, you should be cultivating your lawn and plants to enter their dormant winter states. If you are keeping them green when the first snow falls, it could lead to damage to the plants. This cultivation can be done through a mix of end of season fertilizer, slowing down on watering, and eventually stop watering entirely. With the weather cooling off and your efforts, this will put your lawn into hybernation safely.
Once you’re done with watering, be sure to get your sprinklers blown out. Leaving water in your sprinkler lines when it gets really cold can cause the water to freeze, bursting your sprinklers and underground lines. While this issue won’t be noticeable during the winter, when spring comes and you turn it back on, you’ll have underground flooding. Schedule to have your sprinklers blown out during October as it really cools down.
Clean and Organize Your Home
Is your garage in need of a good cleaning? Do you have a closet or storage space needing to be cleared out? Got a shed that’s stacked to the brim with stuff? Now’s the time to clean it all up and get organized for winter.
Prioritize the outside cleaning you won’t want to do in the cold, like the garage and shed. Then, get started on the inside. This is a great time to start putting away your summer clothes and pulling out the winter gear. Store the pool floaties and get out the sleds.
Not only will this help clean up your home and make it nice, it will set you up to keep the home clean through the winter months too if you keep it organized!
Check Your Furnace and Water Heater
You’ll want heat in the coming months and nothing sounds worse than having your furnace and water heater break down in the middle of winter. Before it starts getting cold, you should check to make sure your heat sources are working and do necessary maintenance.
Let’s start with your water heater. The first thing you should do if you haven't done it this year, is to flush it out and drain the water. Sediment, dirt, and minerals build up at the bottom of your water heater tank and can cause issues if ignored. Hook up a hose to your water heater and drain the water out, then add more water and flush it again. It’s also recommended to have your water heater inspected regularly, either annually or every two years.
As for your furnace, the first thing to do is change out your air filters. This will improve the air quality in your home, important going into the months you stay inside more. Next, you should get your furnace inspected, and if needed, serviced. This will make sure everything is ready to go before the winter chill hits.
Make Any Necessary Repairs, Including Your Roof
Go through your home and look for any potential problem areas. This includes looking up in your attic, crawlspace, basement, or other areas. Try to find any damp areas, leaks, or signs of water damage. Before snow blankets your home, you need to identify any potential areas for water to get in.
You should also check your roof for any potential damage or leaks. This could include getting up there and looking yourself, or hiring a roofing inspector to take a look. If you have asphalt shingles, they need to be replaced every 15 to 30 years, so if it’s been awhile since the roof was replaced, you should definitely take a look at it.
If you do find you need to replace your roof or make a costly repair to make your home ready for winter, including replacing a water heater or furnace, Pioneer can help! With these larger expenses, a HELOC can help cover the cost and give you some flexibility with paying it off over time. Plus, with three different HELOC options, you can pick the one that’s right for your situation.
Learn more about HELOCs