It's once again time to take seasonal inventory to help protect your homes and vehicles throughout another Winter in snowy Michigan. We've updated our annual Winter checklist to help guide you through your annual preparations and keep you standing tall even as temperatures plummet.

Your Auto

Colder weather creates its own requirements for car maintenance. These basic maintenance tips increase safety and decrease chances of a breakdown on a cold, winter road:

  • Charge it: Charge or replace battery as necessary.
  • Coolant: Replace and replenish antifreeze in the cooling systems. As a general rule, this should be done every two years.
  • Make sure heaters, wipers, and defrosters work effectively. Consider using winter wiper blades and cold weather washer fluid.
  • Kick the tires: Do you have enough tread? Are they properly inflated? Consider winter tires that provide more grip on icy roads.
  • Changing the oil: Changing the oil in accordance with your car’s maintenance schedule is one of the simplest ways to maintain and prolong the life of your vehicle.
  • Getting in tune: If your car is due for a tune up, get it done! Simple fixes like pings, hard starts, and sluggish performance can often become magnified problems during the winter months.
  • Get your brakes checked.

Your Home

It’s cold outside so you’re most likely keeping it warm inside! Here are a few things to add to your seasonal home checklist:

Heat

  • Open vents near the floor and close those near the ceiling for better air circulation.
  • Test your furnace and replace the filters.
  • Check the furnace, part II: Let a professional give your heating system a checkup.
  • Use solid fuel safely: Make sure stoves are UL approved and fireplaces are cleaned and maintained.

Attic Ventilation

  • Ensure attic insulation doesn’t cover ventilation vents in the eaves (also called soffits or overhangs). This helps prevent winter ice dams.
  • Make sure vents, eaves, and troughs are free of plants and debris.

Keep it Clean

  • Vacuum under and behind freezer and fridge. This can greatly improve efficiency of unit.
  • Chimney cleaned and checked: Increases ventilation and reduces fire hazard.
  • Trim low-hanging branches. Collected snow and ice could break branches and do damage to your roof, home,

Windows & Doors

  • Storm windows: If you have older, removable wooden storm windows, make arrangements to have them re-installed.
  • Replace or repair any broken window locks or latches.
  • Caulk around frames.
  • Repair any cracked or broken window panes.

Exterior

  • Keep gutters clean at all times.
  • Roof: If there are any signs of a leak or damaged shingles or flashing, have the roof checked. Make sure all culverts and exterior drains are free of debris.
  • Drain and coil all those garden hoses.

Snow Preparation

  • Shovel-ready: Make sure you have a working snow blower, shovels, and sidewalk salt on hand.
  • ·or pedestrians.