Protecting Your Home Against Cold Weather Damage: What New Homeowners Need to Know11/26/2018By Julie DeLong, A-1 Freeman Moving Group Summer is a popular season for moving to a new home. For first time homeowners, it is a time that is brimming with excitement and enthusiasm as you get to embark on a new journey with your family while getting all moved in and settled. It is also a time of year when you need to start thinking about how to protect your home against the harsh elements of impending cold weather that lies ahead as the seasons change. If you are new to the world of homeownership, here are some tips to ensure your home is winter ready this year: Install Faucet Covers Repairing burst water pipes and faucets can be an expensive problem, especially for new homeowners who have shelled out a significant amount of money to move into their new home in the first place. Before cold weather sets in, be sure to install insulated faucet covers on all the faucets on the exterior of your home. This is also a good time to inspect any exposed piping around your home and wrap it up as necessary. Clean the Gutters Ideally, you should have gutters with built in covers or screens to keep leaves and debris from entering the drainage reservoirs in the first place, but if not, then you should try to clean them out before the cold weather has arrived. Clogged gutters get bogged down with water and extra weight when they are not draining properly, and this can lead to the gutters falling off your house. Clean the Walkways Leaves and other yard debris gets slimy when it begins to rot and decay in rain and snowy conditions, and this can lead to slip and fall hazards. Take a proactive approach to protect your family and guests from injury and blow the debris away before cold weather sets in. Seal Windows and Doors Drafts waste valuable energy and can lead to more expensive heating bills when cold weather sets in. Inspect each window and door in your home and determine if you can feel a draft blowing through. Foam strips are a quick and inexpensive way to seal up the drafts in windows and doors. They come in a variety of different thicknesses and sizes, and have adhesive backs, so they will stick to just about any surface. In the future, you can consider investing in storm or replacement windows and doors that will do a better job insulating your home all seasons of the year. Fireplace Inspection and Cleaning Chimney fires are a dangerous problem that can be prevented with a little TLC before Mother Nature turns down the thermostat. Creosote buildup and bird's nests are the most common causes of chimney fires and can be cleaned out quickly by a professional chimney sweep, who will use special tools and brushes to clean out soot and creosote deposits. Furnace Maintenance Now is the perfect time to head over to the furnace, change the air filters, and make sure the machine is operating as it should. Your furnace should automatically detect when the temperature drops in your home and kick on accordingly. Once you have verified that your furnace is working properly, go around the house and check each heater vent to ensure they are open and free of obstacles. Protect Patio Furniture and Grills Harsh winter weather elements can cause your outdoor grill and patio furniture to rust and rot. Before winter sets in, invest in a grill cover and patio furniture covers. Clean your equipment, let it dry thoroughly, and then safely cover it for the winter. Seat covers, cushions, and pillows should be stored in the garage until warm weather presents itself once again in the spring. Think ahead and protect your home and yard equipment from the harsh elements of winter. By ensuring your home is winterized during the fall season, you will save time and money and not have to carry the burden of costly home repairs. We at A-1 Freeman Moving Group have all the labor and resources available to help you move into your new home, and can provide you with tips and advice on how to best protect your new investment once you are all settled in. Contact us today so we can assist with all your residential moving needs!