7 Ways to Prepare Your Home for the Colder Months

1. Clean out the gutters, disconnect and drain all outside hoses. If possible, shut off outside water valves.

2. Insulate walls and attics, and caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.

3. Examine roof shingles, repair roof leaks and remove tree branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your house – or your neighbor's . . .

4. Wrap water pipes in your basement or crawl spaces with insulation sleeves to slow heat transfer.

5. Consider an insulated blanket for your hot water heater.

6. If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when you're not using it.

7. Avoid ice dams – where water from melted snow refreezes in the gutters and seeps in under the roof, soaking interior walls.  Here’s how:  Ventilate your attic. Insulate the attic floor well to minimize the amount of heat rising through the attic from within the house.