12 ways to prepare your home ahead of winter

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By: Amanda Schmidt, AccuWeather

Colder air, snow, sleet and blizzards introduce a new set of concerns for homeowners across the United States.

November is the month with the most dramatic drop in average temperatures, according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Dave Samuhel.

RELATED: See photos of harsh winter weather from 2016

17 PHOTOS
Severe winter weather across the globe
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Severe winter weather across the globe
Spectators attend the ladies 12,5 kilometer mass start competition at the Biathlon World Cup during heavy snow fall on January 16, 2016 in Ruhpolding, southern Germany. Czech Gabriela Soukalova won the competition, German Franziska Hildebrand placed second and German Laura Dahlmeier placed third. / AFP / Christof STACHE (Photo credit should read CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
Snow covers the landscape near Braunschweig, central Germany, on January 18, 2016. / AFP / dpa / Julian Stratenschulte / Germany OUT (Photo credit should read JULIAN STRATENSCHULTE/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A man walks at the Poklonnaya Gora War Memorial Park after heavy snowfall in Moscow on January 13, 2016. AFP PHOTO / DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV / AFP / DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV (Photo credit should read DMITRY SEREBRYAKOV/AFP/Getty Images)
HAKKARI, TURKEY - JANUARY 1: A man clears snow off his parked car in Hakkari, Turkey on January 1, 2016. Snow has covered parts of Hakkari overnight, causing major road closures as wild weather continues across the city. (Photo by Gokhan Gucukluoglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
HAKKARI, TURKEY - JANUARY 1: A man pulls his vehicle during the snowfall in Hakkari, Turkey on January 1, 2016. Snow has covered parts of Hakkari overnight, causing major road closures as wild weather continues across the city. (Photo by Gokhan Gucukluoglu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
A Kurdish boy protects himself against the cold as heavy snow fall hits the city of Sirnak, southeastern Turkey, on January 1, 2016. Tensions are running high throughout Turkey's restive southeast as security forces impose curfews in several towns including Cizre in a bid to root out Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) rebels from urban centres. / AFP / BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)
VAN, TURKEY - JANUARY 13: A man carries straws for sheeps People with a donkey carry straws for sheeps after snowfall during the winter season at Caldiran town in Van, eastern province of Turkey, on January 13, 2016. (Photo by Ali Ihsan Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - A woman takes a walk at river Spree on a cold winter day in Berlin on January 6, 2016. / AFP / TOBIAS SCHWARZ (Photo credit should read TOBIAS SCHWARZ/AFP/Getty Images)
ERZURUM, TURKEY - JANUARY 14: People walk down on a snow-covered street in Turkey's eastern province Erzurum, on January 14, 2016. (Photo by Yunus Okur/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WHITBY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 14: Snow covered sheep stand on moorland after snowfall over night on January 14, 2016 in Whitby, England. Overnight snowfall in North Yorkshire and areas of Cleveland caused disruption in some areas this morning as temperatures continue to drop. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
VAN, TURKEY - JANUARY 13: A man carries straws for sheeps People with a donkey carry straws for sheeps after snowfall during the winter season at Caldiran town in Van, eastern province of Turkey, on January 13, 2016. (Photo by Ali Ihsan Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - JANUARY 12: Snowstorm in Moscow brings traffic to a standstill on January 12, 2016 in Moscow, Russia. A strong atmospheric front swept through Moscow bringing a large amount of snow to the city. (Photo by Kristina Kormilitsyna/Kommersant Photo via Getty Images)
ALTAY, CHINA - JANUARY 12: (CHINA OUT) Icicles hang down from the eaves of a row of houses, which formed when snow melted in the daytime and freezed overnight on January 12, 2016 in Altay Prefecture, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China. Affected by El Nino Phenomenon, Altay Prefecture seems to be a warm winter this year compared with previous winters. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
A woman sweeps away the snow on her car on January 12, 2016, in Minsk, as snow cyclone Daniella hits Belarus. / AFP / MAXIM MALINOVSKY (Photo credit should read MAXIM MALINOVSKY/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman turns off her umbrella during a walk in a snow-covered park on January 12, 2016, in Minsk, as the Daniella snow cyclone hits Belarus, according to local media. / AFP / SERGEI GAPON (Photo credit should read SERGEI GAPON/AFP/Getty Images)
JILIN, CHINA - JANUARY 10: (CHINA OUT) Tourists come to look at the rime scenery on an island along the Songhua River on January 10, 2016 in Jilin City, Jilin Province of China. The first rime in 2016 attracted visitors in Jilin. (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)
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Colder conditions pose serious threats to the stability of homes across the nation.

"With temperatures dropping so quickly at this time of year, you will want to get out and do things such as clean leaves out of gutters, as soon as possible," Samuhel said.

Here are the topthings to do before it gets too cold:

13 PHOTOS
12 ways to prepare your home ahead of winter
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12 ways to prepare your home ahead of winter

1. Insulate walls and attics against drafts.

(Photo via Getty Images)

2. Caulk and weather-strip doors and windows.

(Photo by Andrey Popov via Getty Images)

3. Replace damaged, loose or missing shingles that may leak during a winter storm.

(Photo via Getty Images)

4. Clear your gutters.

(Photo via Getty Images)

5. Repair roof leaks and remove tree branches that could get weighed down with ice or snow and fall on your house or your neighbor's.

(Photo by Kelly Nigro via Getty Images)

6. Wrap water pipes in your basement and crawl spaces with insulation sleeves to slow heat transfer.

(Photo by Tanya Constantine via Getty Images)

7. Turn off exterior faucets as these pipes can burst if they freeze.

(Photo via Getty Images)

8. Drain your irrigation system.

(Photo via Getty Images)

9. Have a contractor check your roof to see if it can sustain the weight of a heavy snowfall.

(Photo via Getty Images)

10. Avoid ice dams - where water from melted snow refreezes in the gutters and seeps in under the roof, soaking interior walls. To avoid ice dams: Ventilate your attic. Insulate the attic floor well to minimize the amount of rising heat. Consider having a water-repellent membrane installed under your roof covering.

(Photo via Getty Images)

11. Divert water by adding extensions to downspouts so that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation.

(Photo via Getty Images)

12. Tune up your heating system to avoid waiting in line for repairs on a cold day.

(Photo via Getty Images)

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