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The best defense against potential winter damage to your home is to be proactive during the fall. Reference this list for some of the most effective steps you can take now to help protect your home during the winter season.
- Have your furnace or heating system serviced. This is a good best practice for homeowners. Ensure your equipment is working properly early on, rather than waiting for a problem or equipment failure to occur during the winter.
- Remove dead or weak branches from your landscape. Identify any branches that are susceptible to snapping off during a strong storm and causing damage to your home or your car. Tree branches can also become weighed down by heavy snow or ice accumulation. You will want to prune back any branches overhanging your roof, walkways, or driveway.
- Repair walkway railings. During the winter, you will likely have guests coming in and out of your home. They may rely on handrails for security when the ground is wet or icy. It is a good idea to check that handrails have not become loose.
- Be sure you and your family members know how to shut off the water. This will be essential in case someone is called on to do so quickly in the event of a pipe freezing. Take time to make sure each family member knows how to turn off and on the water.
- Have your dryer vent cleaned. If you cannot remember the last time your dryer vent was cleaned, your home could be at serious risk of a dryer fire. Winter is a great time of year to schedule your regular dryer vent cleaning.
- Make arrangements for when you plan to be out of town. If you plan to travel during the holiday season or winter break, arrange for a neighbor, friend or family member to check on your home. If something should happen while you are out of town, it would be better for a problem to be discovered immediately, rather than left unaddressed until you return. Also plan to leave your heat on while you are gone at a temperature no lower than 65 degrees to prevent frozen pipes.