'Am I doing it right?' Prepping your home for winter weather

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The first chance for snow accumulation in Northeast Ohio is expected to arrive Friday, so if you haven't already, it's time to winterize your home.

There are several things you can do before winter's brunt to save money on utility bills and residential repairs.

When it comes to preparing your home for winter weather, we answer the question, "Am I doing it right?"

Fallen Fall Leaves

The fall foliage might be beautiful, but the leaves can kill grass in the yard once they fall from the trees. Raking them into a pile isn't always the best solution to rid the leaves because the piles can attract rodents.

Using a lawnmower or blower's mulching mode is a good alternative. Ground-up leaves can feed the yard and save money instead of wasting it on lawn bags.

Clogged Gutters

Leaves, pine needles, and debris can accumulate in your home's gutters throughout the season, forcing water to pool around the home's foundation or to find a way to seep inside.

Clear your gutters often! If water freezes, it can damage the gutters, roof shingles, and create leaks.

Leak Repairs

A tiny leak gone unnoticed can turn into a huge hole and thousands of dollars in repairs.

Use binoculars to spot cracked, curled, or missing shingles on the roof to make repairs before the problem gets worse.

If you spot a leak in your home's walls or windows, use caulk, foam board, weather stripping, or expandable sealant to plug the leaks. Keeping the cold air out and the heat in could save hundreds in heating and cooling costs.

Chimney Cleaning

Wood-burning fireplaces and wood stoves are cozy, but creosote buildup can block the flow of smoke, cause chimney fires, or worse, lead to carbon-monoxide poisoning.

Chimneys should be cleaned every year. A professional cleaning could cost several hundred dollars, but chimney repairs will run thousands.

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