As the summer season draws to a close, it’s essential that you get your home ready for the colder months that lie ahead. Winterizing your home can help protect it from the effects of harsh weather and also help maintain its value if you ever wish to put your property on the market. Here are some things that you should do to prepare your home for the winter season.

Check Your Windows and Doors

Windows and doors that aren’t appropriately sealed around their edges could let in cold drafts into your home, which might increase your utility costs. If you notice damage on the caulking or other sealing materials around your doors and windows, you should have new materials applied. You may even need to replace old doors and windows that are no longer capable of keeping your home’s interior sheltered adequately from the outdoor elements. If you don’t address these issues before winter, then you will pay for it later with expensive utility bills. If this repair is outside of your budget, then an installment loan can help you cover the expense. This one-time expense will save you from paying more in the long-run.

Winterize Your Plumbing

Freezing temperatures can cause your pipes to burst if the right steps aren’t taken to prepare them for the winter. These experts suggest wrapping your pipes in insulation materials to keep the water inside from turning into ice. Turning your faucets on enough so that they drip when temperatures drop below freezing can also prevent ice formation in your pipes. It’s also important to fix any exterior cracks and seal off your crawl space to protect your plumbing system.

Control Your Pests

Now is the time to get any pest issues you have under control because once it starts getting colder outside, pests like spiders will move inside where it is warmer. If you don’t want that to happen, you’ll need to do a little pest control before it gets too cold. Look for natural remedies for dealing with your pest problems but if you find that you don’t have the time or can’t find something that works, enlist the aid of a professional to get the job done.

Have Your Furnace Inspected

Meyer Heating & Air suggests getting your furnace inspected and maintained every fall so as to save you money, and extend the life of your system. This is to make sure that it’s in excellent working condition to last throughout the winter. A furnace that’s old or damaged might not be capable of heating the inside of your home adequately during the cold months. A faulty furnace may also have to work harder to produce heat, and this can make your monthly utility bills rise. You can hire a professional to inspect your furnace to make sure that all the components are functioning correctly.

Winterize Your Gutters

Your gutters shouldn’t be overlooked when winterizing your home. As CBS News reports, leaves and other debris that have fallen into your gutters during the fall can clog the lines and cause water to overflow and possibly damage your home’s foundation. The water that gets trapped in your gutters from clogging can also freeze and result in further property damage. Whether you choose to hire someone or do the work yourself, it’s important to clean your gutters and remove all obstructions that can cause water backups.

Have Your Fireplace and Chimney Inspected

Hiring a professional inspector to check your fireplace and chimney to make sure they’re in excellent shape before winter sets in will be a smart investment. Cracks or other damages in your chimney or fireplace need to be repaired to prevent carbon monoxide and hazardous gases from leaking into your home and making your living conditions unsafe. Creosote buildups and animal nests inside your chimney can also be dangerous, and a qualified inspector can identify and resolve these issues.

Trim Trees and Bushes

Overgrown limbs on trees and bushes can wreak havoc on your home on cold and windy winter days. This source explains that these limbs could collapse because of ice buildups or high-speed winds and fall onto your house or vehicles. The damage from fallen limbs can result in costly repairs and replacements, and having your trees and bushes trimmed before winter should be one of your top priorities.

Replace Damaged or Missing Shingles

You should replace any worn or missing roof shingles, as this will help your home stay in better order throughout the winter. The moisture from rain and snow could leak into your home and damage your attic and other interior sections if there is damage on the roof. Shingle problems aren’t always easy to spot, so it’s best to hire a licensed contractor to inspect your roof and perform any needed maintenance work.

Protect Your Outdoor Items and Equipment

Not only should you protect the interior and exterior portions of your house, but it’s also essential to maintain the outdoor items and equipment that are on your property. It’s a good idea to store barbeque grills and outdoor furniture in a garage or shed to keep them safe from the cold. Lawnmowers and other lawn and gardening tools should also be stored in an indoor setting, if possible. If you have an in-ground swimming pool, ThoughtCo. recommends covering it, draining the filter and clearing the plumbing lines.

Going through the checklist of winterizing your home each year can end up saving you a lot of extra time and money in the long run. By doing everything that’s necessary to keep your home safeguarded throughout the cold season, your property will have a better chance of surviving the winter.