With autumn on our doorstep and winter not far behind, it’s a good time to make sure your home is ready to brave the elements. Sunny days and pleasant temperatures provide the perfect backdrop to take inventory on what projects will help prepare your home for winter.
Here are our top 6 winterization inspection tips:
1) Inspect door and window frames.
Heat can escape through the smallest gaps, wasting precious energy dollars. Caulk is an easy fix that’ll help seal those areas and boost energy efficiency. If you’re not sure which type of caulk to use, consult this handy guide or stop by our store and we’ll help you find the right one. Weather stripping is another simple task that keeps the cold air out. Need a little help? This Energy.gov guide offers great weather stripping how-to info.
Here’s a tip for checking for air leaks: light an incense stick and hold it around possible drafty spots. The smoke’s direction can indicate air leaks, where caulk or weather stripping is needed.
2) Inspect foundational and other exterior surface areas.
Areas to note: where foundation meets siding, where wires and pipes enter, dryer vents, pet doors, etc. Check for and caulk cracks, and make necessary repairs to broken vinyl siding or trim. Insulate pipes where necessary. Inspect wood siding and trim for mildew, stains, and blistered or peeling paint. Repair and paint or stain wood surfaces to preserve and protect them from the harsh winter elements. If you aren’t sure what you need for the job, stop by. We have a selection of products that can help remedy these issues.
3) Inspect the roof.
Harsh weather can take a toll on most any roof, so look for problem areas and loose, broken, or missing shingles. Make repairs as necessary or consult a roofing company to do it for you. Leaks can lead to costly repairs later, so a quick check up is always a good idea. Bob Vila’s Leaky Roof Tips can provide further assistance.
4) Inspect gutters and downspouts.
Leaves, pine needles, and other debris can clog these important drainage systems, so regular cleaning is essential. Clogged gutters can create ice dams, poor drainage, and other maintenance concerns. To avoid these issues, remove debris and flush with water to ensure the system is functioning well. In addition, examine joints, tighten brackets, and replace damaged or old gutters as needed.
5) Inspect decks, patios, and porches.
Check for mold, mildew, structural or surface issues, peeling paint, etc. Remove leaves and other debris by cleaning or pressure washing these areas. If necessary, paint, stain, or seal to prepare their surfaces for harsh winter conditions. Restore, seal, and protect wood and concrete with products like NuDeck, one of our favorites for jobs like this. For more deck and porch maintenance tips, check out our post, A Deck Check Up.
6) Inspect outdoor spigots.
This is often overlooked, yet is just as important in the home winterization process. Avoid frozen and broken exterior pipes and spigots by draining and insulating them. Don’t forget to drain garden hoses too, and store properly until spring.
Preventative measures like these pay off, saving you time and money in the long run. Take advantage of autumn’s great weather and make your home secure and winter-ready. When the snow begins to fly, you’ll be glad you did!