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The following tips are designed to help get you and your home ready for what winter has in store.

Preparing your home now for the colder months ahead is vital. The following tips are designed to help get you and your home ready for what winter has in store.

Invest in Weather Stripping

If you can run your hand around the edges of an outside-facing door on a cold day and feel the flow of cool air, you have an airflow problem, one that could cost you a lot of money over the course of the winter.

Weather stripping is a good way to help seal warm air in and cold air out of your home. Available in almost any hardware store, weather stripping installs quickly around windows and doors and can help prevent air leaks.

Before winter arrives, check your windows, doors, vents and fans, plumbing areas, air conditioners and any electrical/gas lines for leaks or drafts to save yourself energy and heating costs.

Evaluate Your Roof to Prevent Ice Dams

"Your roof is one of the most vital protections standing between you and the harsh outside elements. Excess snow, ice and other environmental hazards can cause significant damage," said Grace Sorensen, General Manager, Legit Roofing. "The objective is to get as much of the water away from your house as possible."

In cold weather, heat escaping your home can melt and refreeze ice and snow on your roof, leading to ice dams. Evaluate your roof in advance of harsh winter weather to prevent ice damming. An ice dam in your gutter can cause water to seep into and saturate an interior wall. 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. If you're unsure of what to look for, see if a roofing professional can evaluate your roof for ice dams while cleaning your gutters.

Protect Pipes from Freezing

A frozen water pipe can burst and flood your house or basement.

Help protect your pipes from freezing in bitter cold weather by making sure you don't turn the heat down too much when you're out of the house. You may not be there to enjoy it, but your pipes need the heat to prevent freezing.

Give your home a once over for any exposed or vulnerable piping and wrap them with insulation. Hardware stores usually carry foam rubber or fiberglass sleeves for pipes, which are easy to install.

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