The long, cold Wyoming winter has finally started! With the few weeks we have before the snow really starts to fly and the temperatures plummet, it’s important to take a Saturday to tend to a few things around the house so that your home makes it through the winter safe and sound. Many of these tasks will also save you money in the long run, so it’s a win-win situation!
Remember, if you feel as though you aren’t capable of doing these tasks yourself, find a reputable professional to do them for you. We’ve got a list of local contractors, handymen, plumbers, and the like over on our resources page in case you need to call a pro.
With that, let’s have a look at a few items you need to take care of to prepare your home for the winter…
Check Your Heat Sources
Whether you rely on electric baseboard heaters, a forced air gas system, a wood burning stove, or some other system, it’s imperative that you check them thoroughly before using them. If you have a chimney, look for creosote build-up or soot, and if need be, call a professional chimney sweep to get the chimney cleaned out. If you have a gas furnace, replace the air filter, and if the system is making weird noises or just doesn’t seem to be putting out enough heat, call a qualified service repair person. The point is that when it gets really cold come December and January, you don’t want to be in a situation where you can’t use your heat!
Seal Windows and Doors
With the wild temperature swings we have in Fremont County, it’s no surprise that weather sealing around windows and doors dries up, cracks, and falls off. Before our famous winter winds begin to blow, go around your home, inspecting each window and door. Replace old and worn-out weather stripping with new material, and caulk gaps between windows and walls as needed. Ensuring that your home is buttoned up tight will keep the winter winds outside and the warm air inside, which will help reduce your monthly heating bills too!
Head to the Roof
No matter what kind of material you have on your roof, a good inspection is necessary before every winter season. Loose, curled, or damaged shingles won’t hold up to the punishment of the Wyoming winter, nor will rusted or corroded flashing or metal roof panels. Besides, the last place you want to be in the winter is on your roof looking for the source of a leak!
If you’re leery about getting on the roof, take a few steps back and visually inspect it with binoculars. That will give you a close-up view of the roof so you can inspect its condition without risking life and limb. Pay particular attention to the roof peak, where damaged shingles take the brunt of the wind. Look at roof valleys as well, noting any areas where flashing has been damaged. Finally, inspect the areas around chimneys and vents to ensure the roof is still properly sealed. If you find damage, call a professional to mend it before winter sets in.
Though spending several hours of a Saturday inspecting your home for potential problems might not sound like a lot of fun, it’s a necessary part of home ownership in such a harsh climate. Besides, the more proactive you can be about finding issues with your home, the faster you can rectify them and the less the chance will be that a minor issue turns into a major problem.
So, before the snow starts to fly and the cold wind starts to blow, take a few hours to give your home a good once-over. Fix any problems or issues that you feel comfortable fixing, and call in a professional to address major areas of concern. If you can do that, your home should be good to go for this winter and beyond!