As fall comes to a close and the winter temperatures begin to drop, it's time for homeowners to your home for the winter months. Winter can be harsh on a property, but with a little care, you can make sure that your home remains cozy, energy-efficient, and protected during the cold seanson. Here are a few tips on how to get your home winter-ready.Inspect and Seal Windows and Doors:
Start by inspecting your windows and doors for any drafts. Cold air seeping in can lead to increased heating costs and decrease in comfortability. Seal gaps with weatherstripping and caulk to keep the warmth inside and the chill outside. Consider using draft stoppers at the base of doors to further prevent cold air from creeping in.
Check and Clean Gutters:
Clogged gutters can lead to ice dams, which can cause damage to your roof and walls. Clean out leaves and debris from your gutters, ensuring that water can flow freely. You could also consider installing gutter guards to prevent future clogs. This small effort is well worth it!
Service Your Heating System:
Schedule a professional inspection and servicing of your heating system. This includes checking the furnace, replacing filters, and ensuring that all components are in good working order. This helps to prevent needing an emergency service when the tempatures are cold and the professionals are busy. Regular maintenance will not only keep your home warm but also improve energy efficiency.
Protect Pipes from Freezing:
Frozen pipes can be a costly and inconvenient problem that is easily preventable. Insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas, such as the basement or attic, to prevent freezing. Consider using heat tape for added protection. If you have hose bibs outside, make sure the water is shut off to the hose bibs and disconnect any hoses. Lastly, it's also a good idea to know where your main water shut-off valve is in case of emergencies (this is typically found in the crawlspace).
Winterize Your Lawn and Garden:
Trim back overgrown branches and bushes, clear out dead vegetation, and winterize your lawn by aerating and fertilizing. This not only enhances your home's curb appeal but also ensures a healthy garden come spring.
Check the Roof:
Inspect your roof for any damaged or missing shingles. Snow and ice can exacerbate existing issues, causing leaks. Addressing roofing problems before winter sets in will help you avoid potential water damage during the colder months.
Stock Up on Winter Essentials:
Make sure you're well-prepared for winter storms. Stock up on essentials like rock salt for de-icing walkways, snow shovels, and emergency supplies. Consider investing in a backup power source, such as a generator, in case of power outages.
Insulate Attic and Walls:
Proper insulation is key to keeping your home warm and energy-efficient. Ensure that your attic and walls are adequately insulated to prevent heat loss. This not only improves comfort but also helps reduce heating costs.
Prepare Outdoor Furniture and Equipment:
Clean and store outdoor furniture and equipment properly. Covering them or moving them to a shed or garage to keep them dry can extend their lifespan and save you from having to replace them in the spring.
These simple steps will not only keep you warm but also help to avoid preventable damage. A well-prepared home is a cozy home, ready to keep you cozy over the winter!