How to Prepare Your Home for Cold Weather

Prepare your yard

  • Service Weather-Specific Equipment
    • Tune-up or service snow blowers
    • Replace old and worn rakes and snow shovels
    • Sharpen ice choppers and buy bags of ice-melt / sand
    • Buy extra bags of rock salt
    • Clean, dry and store summer gardening equipment
    • Drain gas from lawnmowers
  • Aerate
    • Use an aerator to allow air to reach the grass stems. This will prevent them from dying and creating ugly patches on your lawn.
  • Fertilize and Reseed
    • Late October is the best time to fertilize and reseed your lawn to keep it strong through the freezing weather. As winter comes, your grass will need good fertilizer to grow deeper roots so it can withstand the cold weather.
    • Reseeding your lawn before winter will not only protect it against the cold, but it will also ensure strong healthy grow at the beginning of spring.
  • Prune
    • Pruning after the leaves turn and plants are dormant is important to encourage healthy growth in spring.
    • Trim tree branches that hang too close to the house or electrical wires.
  • Protect Cold-Sensitive Plants
    • Protect plants that have experienced frost damage in the past by spreading a layer of mulch around the base of plants before the temperature dips down to provide insulation for the winter. Wait until spring to fertilize shrubs and trees.
    • Relocate cold-sensitive plants by potting them and moving them indoors. While your lawn and larger trees will survive the winter cold, bulb flowers and other plants are far more delicate and will die if left out during the winter season.
  • Keep Lawn Cut Short And Water Frequently
    • Cut grass short to prevent it from drying out and dying as the weather gets colder.
    • Be sure to water the lawn regularly.
  • Remove Any Debris And Clean Gutters
    • Remove debris, such as dead leaves and rocks, from your lawn. Any debris left on your lawn during the cold season may smother and kill your grass.
    • Clean all exterior gutters using the Craftsman Gutter Cleaning Accessory Kit.
    • Consider installing leaf guards on the gutters or extensions on the downspouts to direct water away from the home.
  • Seal Driveways, Brick Patios And Wood Decks.
    • Cold weather is tough on walkways and patios. Shifts in temperature and humidity can cause concrete and brick to heave and settle unevenly.
    • Keeping them free of water build-up and debris will reduce the chances of winter damage. If you noticed water or ice accumulation last winter, take steps now to provide proper drainage. This can be as simple as adding a small gravel drainage channel next to a walkway, or fixing a gutter that drips onto steps.

Prepare your house

  • Windows and Doors
    • Make sure caulking around all doors and windows is sufficient to minimize loss of heat. Reviewers recommend using the Craftsman C3 19.2 volt Caulk Gun
    • Add weather stripping to exterior doors to ensure a tight seal and prevent cold air from entering the home.
    • Use draft stoppers under doorways to prevent drafts.
    • If windows are especially drafty, install window insulation kits, which are available at home improvement stores.
    • Check all window and door locks for proper operation: lubricate locks or hinges with WD4-40 if necessary.
  • Pipes
    • Locate your water main in case you need to shut it off in an emergency.
    • Shut off any outdoor hoses at their indoor source, drain and store hoses inside.
    • Insulate exposed plumbing pipes.
    • Drain air conditioner pipes, and if your AC has a water shut-off valve, turn it off.
    • Prevent plumbing freezes while you’re on vacation by leaving the heat on and set to at least 55 degrees.
    • Check for cracks around pipes and electrical outlets entering or exiting the walls.
  • Furnace & Heating
    • Replace your furnace filter at least once every season.
    • Clean and vacuum furnace filter area. Remove all flammable material from the area surrounding your furnace.
    • Consider switching out your thermostat for a programmable thermostat.
    • If your home is heated by a hot-water radiator, bleed the valves by opening them slightly and when water appears, close them.
    • Vacuum all air registers
  • Fireplace & Chimney
    • Cap or screen the top of the chimney to keep out rodents and birds.
    • Remove any bird nests from flues or other outdoor areas such as lighting fixtures near the house.
    • If the chimney hasn’t been cleaned for a while, call a chimney sweep to remove soot and creosote.
    • Buy firewood or chop wood. Reviewers recommend the Fiskars 23 in. Chopping Ax. Store the wood in a dry place away from the exterior of your home.
    • Inspect the fireplace damper for proper opening and closing.
    • Use fans to circulate heat from fireplaces to other rooms.
  • Ensure Insulation In Cellar And Attic
    • If your weather temperature will fall below 32 degrees in the winter, you should consider adding extra insulation to your attic. R-30 insulation is considered the minimum. If your house is relatively new, it probably conforms. If not, consider adding insulation.
    • If your home has a basement, consider protecting its window wells by covering them with plastic shields.
  • Indoor Emergency Kit
    • Flashlight for use during a power shortage (don’t forget extra batteries)
    • Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and tape them near your phone or inside the phone book.
    • Buy a battery back-up to protect your computer and sensitive electronic equipment.
    • Bottled water
    • Non-perishable food supplies (including baby food and/or pet food)
    • Non-electric can opener
    • Blankets
    • First-aid kit
    • Battery Powered Radio
    • Prescription Drugs

Prepare your car

  • Go To a Sears Auto Center To Get The Following Items Checked:
    • Antifreeze levels
    • Battery and ignition system
    • Brakes
    • Exhaust system
    • Fuel and air filters
    • Heater and Defroster
    • Lights
    • Oil
    • Thermostat
    • Windshield wiper equipment
  • Install Good Winter Tires
    • Make sure the tires have adequate tread. All-weather radials are usually adequate for most winter conditions. However, some jurisdictions require that vehicles must be equipped with chains or snow tires with studs.
  • Car Emergency Kit
 

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  1. AWWW~Poor guy~Sears sell some nice snow blowers!!

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