Winter 2016 Readiness Checklist

ldr-2With Winter 2016 just around the corner, northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin residents should be thinking ahead to steps they can take to weatherize their homes. From obtaining fire water damage restoration services to stocking supplies, these simple tasks should be on your winter readiness checklist.

Replace Damaged Screens

It is important to secure the screens on your porch and storm windows prior to the start of winter. This helps keep snow and wet leaves from collecting in or around your home.

Seal Cracks and Openings

From cracks in your window sealant to the foundation of your home, even the smallest opening can be an entryway for moisture and pests in the winter. Insects and small animals seek warm shelter in the colder months, so it is important to keep your home thoroughly sealed with fresh caulk. Drafts around windows and doors can also cause heat to escape from your home, dramatically increasing your energy bill.

Replace Old Weather-stripping

Weather-stripping can become worn and ineffective over the years, especially if you live in a cold area. Ensure that the weather-stripping around your doorframes and windows is secure to prevent leaks and drafts.

Trim Tree Branches

Snow resting on dead or weakened tree branches can lead to fallen limbs and damaged property. Prevent damage before it happens by regularly trimming dead trees and shrubbery throughout fall and early winter.

Protect Outdoor Furniture

Porch swings, patio tables and other outdoor furniture should be covered or moved inside prior to the first snowfall of the year. If left outside, these items can rust or become moldy due to moisture soaking into the fabric. A layer of tarp is often enough to keep your non-fabric outdoor furniture protected. Some types of furniture can be weatherized with a spray-on coating that prevents moisture from leaking into the material.

Turn Off Outside Faucets

Make a list of all faucets around your property, paying special attention to often-forgotten valves and pipes by sheds or other outdoor structures. Making sure your sprinkler, hose and other exterior faucets are off before the weather gets cold is the best way to prevent burst pipes.

Look for Splintering

Temperature changes have a significant impact on decks, porches and other wooden structures around the home. Protect these areas from further damage by conducting a routine inspection around your home each year during late fall. Look for splintered or rough patches in the wood alongside and underneath your porch or deck. If the wood is in rough shape now, it is sure to become worse after the snow begins to fall. This inspection is a great time to remove fallen leaves and pine needles from underneath your outdoor structures to prevent mold and mildew. Although simple, these tasks are often forgotten by homeowners, resulting in preventable damage and repairs. Keep your winter maintenance costs low by taking a day or two to check each item off your Winter 2016 readiness list. If damage does occur, you can always call Leaders in Disaster Restoration, a leading provider of fire and water damage restoration services since 1991.
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