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Cold weather is right around corner. Keep your home and yard safe and running smoothly as temperatures drop and activity moves indoors.

To prepare your home and your household for the colder months ahead, review this handy checklist, which is designed to help you be more prepared for whatever old man winter has in store. Please keep personal safety in mind when checking items off this list and connect with a trusted professional for help with anything you are unable to do yourself.

Remove window screens.

Removing screens from windows can boost natural light and improve solar heat gain. During winter storms, snow can also get trapped between the screen and window, potentially causing damage to window frames and sills.

Evaluate your roof to prevent ice dams.

While a roofing professional is cleaning the gutters, see if he or she can evaluate your roof for ice dams too.

In cold weather, heat escaping your home can melt and refreeze ice and snow on your roof, leading to ice dams. These block off drains, and let water and ice continually build up on your roof – and possibly under it – weakening your roof and putting your home at risk.

To help prevent ice dams, insulate your attic. Your attic should have plenty of insulation to prevent too much heat transfer from your living areas to the attic. Check parts of the attic that may not be well insulated, such as pipes and vents, chimney systems, and light fixtures.

Have your fireplace cleaned.

If you haven’t done so yet, have your fireplace cleaned by a certified chimney sweep. Regular cleaning is a necessary safety measure for wood-burning fireplaces and wood stoves, since buildup of creosote (from past fires) inside the chimney can potentially cause a house fire. Gas fireplaces should be checked too — even though gas is a clean-burning fuel, there could be an old nest or other debris blocking the chimney.

Prevent frozen pipes.

Because water expands as it freezes, frozen pipes can burst, leading to extensive water damage and costly repairs. Follow these steps to prevent pipes from freezing in winter
-Insulate pipes — at least those by windows and doors, and in unheated areas of the home.
-Disconnect your hose from the outside hose bib (outside faucet).
-If prone to freezing, leave faucets dripping slightly — the theory is that running water does not freeze.
-Keep the heat set no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit when you are away.

Keep your heating system running smoothly.

If you notice any strange new noises coming from your heaters, or if one area of the house suddenly seems colder, have the system looked at right away, as these can be signs something is wrong.

Considering this checklist can help provide information necessary to prepare for the trials and tribulations of winter. However, sometimes winter weather can throw us curveballs we simply can’t plan for. Talk to Northern Craft Construction about any questions regarding any home restoration projects that may arise due to potential rough weather.