Getting the house ready for winter might not be your top priority right now. After all, the majority of people would rather enjoy the fall colors, savor pumpkin-flavored lattes or go apple-picking than winterize their home. However, the truth is that if you are not ready, the winters can be brutal for your house.
The mere thought of getting the house ready for winter can feel like an insurmountable task. Well, it does not have to be, thanks to the tips we have put together for you:
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1. Inspect Fireplace
If you want to keep your home warm in the winter without breaking the bank, a fireplace is a way to go. But it is important to check your fireplace’s condition and make any necessary repairs before bringing it out of the hibernation period.
To begin with, tidy up the area around your fireplace. During the extended durations between fire seasons, the space around the fireplace is prone to accumulating clutter. So you will want to make sure the area is clear of debris to prevent accidents and make the most of the fire. When lighting your first fire of the season, maintain a secure distance from any nearby furniture or rugs. Besides, you should also examine the structure of the chimney. Check for issues like creosote accumulation, broken or missing flue tiles, and damaged chimney caps.
If this seems like too much work, you could hire professionals for fireplace maintenance. These experts are readily available everywhere. However, reaching out to them in bigger cities is relatively easier.
2. Clean Your Gutters
Having functional gutters is essential for keeping water away from your house. During torrential downpours or intense snowstorms in winter, your gutters will most likely keep up with an increase in the flow of water and snow. Therefore, they must be free of obstructions and able to channel melting snow or water away from your house.
Assessing your downspouts is a smart approach to identifying how much cleaning your gutters require. Remember, this method is applicable only if your guttering systems can be accessed without risk. Following a visual check for excessive foliage and debris, you can use a hose to see if the downspouts are blocked. If that is the case, the water must be released gradually into the gutters to prevent further damage to the gutters from the excess water.
You can also clean the clogged gutters from the ground using a wet/dry vacuum with curved attachments, which will make it easier for you to access hard-to-reach areas. These gutter cleaning tools can be purchased at hardware stores and home improvement websites.
3. Trim Back Tree Limbs
Snowfall during the winter may be rather heavy, and if you combine that with an ice storm, even perfectly healthy tree branches are susceptible to snapping under the force. Weighted down by ice, branches could lead to structural damage to roofs and possibly cause injuries.
So if you have branches overhanging your property, trimming them back might reduce the risk of a limb falling on your roof. To ensure the safety of your property, consult a landscaping company or tree surgeon if you are unable to prune the trees yourself.
4. Lag Your Pipes
Homes are equipped with several pipes that carry water throughout the structure. Lagging refers to the practice of wrapping these pipes in insulating material to prevent heat loss. It will reduce heat loss to the environment, resulting in lower utility bills and less carbon dioxide released from your home. Insulating pipes also keeps pipes from freezing and bursting in the winter. This is especially important when the plumbing is installed in cold regions like loft rooms and garages.
The most common type of lagging is polyethylene foam because it is inexpensive and a breeze to install. It fits snugly over the outside of a pipe and often has a slit running down one side.
5. Hit The Roof
Do not see it, do not remember it? Your roof may be keeping up with the repercussions of weathering, debris, aging, or vegetation growth even if you cannot see them right away. Sometimes, things only pop up during an inspection that you would not have caught otherwise.
The winter climate is not kind to your roof. The layers of a roof could be worn away by the sheer weight of snow, ice, and sleet. As a result, water can also seep inside and wreak considerable damage to anything along the course. For the sake of your home’s overall structural stability, you should make it a priority to practice proactive, preventative roof care.
It is important to check the roof for damaged, loose, or missing shingles. If you need a few shingles fixed or a significant piece of your roof redone, call in a handyman or professional roofer. Pay close attention to the flashing as part of your roof maintenance. Roof flashing tends to loosen and bend over time. Flashing that has been compromised leaves a roof vulnerable to the weight of snow and ice.
Since leaves and pine needles collect moisture, rake or blow them off your asphalt and pebble roof in the fall. Avoid brushing aside the pebbles, as doing so may expose the asphalt to sun damage.
6. Protect Outdoor Water Sources
Before the first frost, make sure to drain and put away any sprinklers or garden hoses to prevent them from freezing and bursting. To access the water supply for your hose bibs, first, turn off the water supply valve within your home or basement that feeds the line, and then open the spigot located outside. Simply turning off the water supply can lead to frozen water expanding inside the pipe and bursting it.
7. Install Storm Windows
Take down all window screens and put them away. By installing glass storm windows, you may create an insulating barrier of air that sits between your regular windows and the chilly air outside. Even if you already have double-paned windows, these will add another layer of defense against severe precipitation.
If you take the time to winterize your home and do routine maintenance, you may be able to lessen the amount of damage your house experiences from winter storms or perhaps prevent any damage from occurring. After taking these precautions, you may feel better prepared to face the colder months ahead.