Prepare for winter before it arrives

Prepare for winter before it arrives

The leaves are turning color, pumpkins are ready, kids back in school.
It’s fall, a great time to prepare for the white stuff that inevitably falls on Wisconsin. And while we traditionally think of bringing out coats and mittens, homeowners also need to think about winterizing their floors, windows and roof:

• Ready your floors for snow and mud.
With winter comes the inevitable tracking in of snow, mud and ice. Spread rugs by doors to catch the dirt and water that comes in with your kids, pets and guests. If you have wood floors in your entryway, stash a rag or towel nearby to clean up water on the floor that could cause your wood floor to warp. Have your carpets professionally cleaned now—before you spend all your time indoors because of the cold—and give your hard floors a good cleaning in preparation.

• Contact a professional to clean your ducts.
You are about to be stuck inside with all the allergens circulating through your ducts. Clean them now before you’re spending the majority of your time inside.

• Check your windows and doors.
Check your windows and doors for wear and tear. Fill in holes around windows and doors with caulk. If your window seal is broken, or you question their efficiency, purchase plastic to install on the interior to keep drafts out or contact a contractor about replacement.

•Have your chimney inspected.
Prevent carbon monoxide build up or a fire.

• Pressure wash your siding.
Don’t be the ugly house on the block covered in mold and mildew. Clean your house before it’s too cold to run that pressure washer.

• Have your furnace checked now before it has to work hard.
Hire an HVAC technician to do maintenance at least biannually. Furnace maintenance saves you money in the long run because inefficient heaters run more, raising your utility bills.

• Check your roof for loose or damaged shingles.
Summer storms and high winds can wreak havoc on your shingles. If you only have a few damaged shingles, fix the problem for far less money than a full roof replacement.

• Test your smoke detectors
. Keep your family safe. Change any detectors with low batteries.

Annual winterizing increases the lifespan of your windows, doors, flooring, roof and furnace. Are there any other home winterizing tasks you would recommend?