Before winter strikes, you want to purchase gloves, hats, boots, and a coat so that you will be prepared for the harsh weather ahead. But don’t forget your home needs to get ready for winter, too. Cold can damage many areas of your house and make it vulnerable and unable to protect you and your family.

Here are five ways to prepare your home for next winter.

1. Roof

A yearly roof inspection is essential in making sure loose tiles are identified and replaced. Don’t forget your chimney while checking the roof. Call a chimney sweep Maryland to remove creosote and locate lose bricks or flues. Gutters and downspouts should also be checked to make sure they are debris free.

2. Yard

Some of your plants may not survive the hard, cold freeze that comes with winter storms. You can help your bulbs by digging them up to store until you can plant them again in spring. If you have annual flowers, remove them from the soil as soon as they begin to die back. This will prevent small critters from making a home in the dead foliage. Don’t forget to move all outdoor furniture into storage sheds to prevent damage by heavy snows or weighty ice.

3. Trees

Remove all dead or injured limbs from the tree before winter arrives. Mulch with three inches of soil or specialty mulch. If mice, deer, or rabbits are a problem, make sure you wrap the lower three feet of any young trees to prevent bark stripping. If you know when a big freeze is coming, stop watering at least a weeks before the freeze to prevent deep ice root damage.

4. Home

Wash the grime off the outside of your home. Particles of sand, dirt, and dust can collect in crevices, and when they get wet and freeze, the result can be detrimental to your home’s protective envelope. The cracks can allow insects and small pests to enter the structure, which can cause future problems.

5. Windows

Check your windows for cracks in the caulking and loose window panes. Replacing the caulk can keep the winter cold out and your home’s heat inside. Make sure you call a handyman during the summer to make an appointment, so you don’t find yourself sending all your heat outdoors.

Don’t wait for fall days to grow cold in order to get your home ready for the coming cold. Take time now to arrange winter home preparations. You won’t regret being ready for the first freeze.