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As the wind increases and the barometer drops, you may need something to protect your home against the weather. If you don't fix these problems now, winter weather will only bring more frustration.

Doug Post, store manager at True Value, said there are three different places in the house where people need to look in readying their homes for winter: water pipes, weather stripping and the roof.

"Look around. Are there water pipes exposed along the outside wall?" Post said.

If water pipes are exposed, you need to insulate them. Materials such as heat tape, fiberglass insulation or foam insulation can fill any openings you have around the pipes.

Bob McCullough, owner of Boggs Hardware, agreed that wrapping heat tape around the pipes before the cold weather comes in will help keep them not from freezing and help keep you from freezing also. McCullough said keep crawl spaces insulated.

Roof and gutter heat tape also is important to prevent ice buildup. You don't want to be up on a ladder in the middle of winter when the ice already has built up, McCullough said.

"Weather strip around windows and doors. Put it around the cracks of the windows and doors," Post said.

That draft you're feeling every night could be the result of a lack of weather stripping. Items such as a plastic V-seal, adhesive back foam or felt can relieve this problem.

"Look around the electric wall plates," Post said. Putting in foam behind the plate will decrease the airflow. Look at the roof. Is there any place you have leaks, any ventilation?"

Items such as tar, wet or dry roof cement or caulking could alleviate a leaky roof.

McCullough recommended building up your garden now for spring. People may be waiting months for their garden to dry out from the winter.

"Add any compost or organic material now and build raised beds for your garden. Be ready for spring planting," McCullough said.

Compiled by Kelly Silva

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