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Winter Preparation Guide 2005 Articles

Ah... the winter holidays. What's not to love about them: cold weather, expensive heating bills, frozen pipes, and all sorts of other damages to property. With all these possibly headaches, it's important to prepare your house properly. By taking care of your house first, you can spend more time with your friends and family worry-free.

Space Heaters - These small devices are a popular way to get toasty without heating the whole house. However, always make sure they are in proper working order and check for exposed wires since they can be a potential fire hazard as well. NEVER leave a spacer heater unattended or near flammable objects...otherwise you may be getting an unwanted visit from your local fire department.

Sidewalks - With all the visitors you will be having during the holiday season, be sure to make sure entry to your home is safe. Place rock salt and/or sand on your house's walk ways to prevent formation of dangerous ice that someone could fall on (at your liability).

Leaky House - With the cold weather, you want the heating of your house to be as efficient as possible. Seal areas in your house such as windows and doors with caulk in order to keep cold air out of your house. Check the rubber lining on your doors, and if necessary replace it, so that it is able to keep cold air out also.

Frozen Pipes - If you are leaving your home for a lengthy period of time, turn off your water. If bad winter weather hits and knocks out your power, your pipes may become frozen and damaged. You may turn your water off at your water meter and also be sure to run the left over water out of your faucets also.

Insulate your Pipes - Another way to prevent your pipes from freezing is to insulate them. Various methods may be used. Foam rubber sleeves and fibeglass insulation are two good ways to protect your pipes.

Extra Supplies - You would not want to be caught off guard if a winter storm hit. Be sure to have extra supplies in your home in such a case. Important items to have are extra food (that can be prepared without electricity) and bottled water, flashlights, batteries, candles, matches,

Overhanging Trees - Trees that are hanging over your home pose a threat when ice forms on them. The ice can fall and damage your roof (or worse, fall on somebody). To prevent such cases, make sure your trees are trimmed back far enough from your house before any inclement weather hits.

Chimneys - Have your chimney inspected by a professional before you attempt to use it. If it needs to be cleaned, have it done because formation of creosote in your chimney is a fire hazard.

Clean Your Gutters - Cleaning your gutters is crucial for proper drainage. When snow begins to melt from your roof, you will want a properly working gutter system in order to keep it from backing up with ice, leaves, or other debris.

Lawn - There are even ways to prepare your lawn for the winter. Be sure to rake leaves constantly from your lawn. Leaves that remain on your lawn can cause your grass to die due to lack of air circulation into the soil. Fertilizing and seeding your lawn two times prior to the winter season can also help make sure your grass is strong and storing a food supply for withstanding the frigid temperatures.

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