Autumn is here, and it’s the perfect time to winterize your home. Your humble abode provides shelter from the cold, harsh elements, so taking inventory now on what projects must be done will ensure your family stays warm and safe all winter long.
Here are our top 6 tips to help get your home ready to brave those elements:
Check Outdoor Spigots
Avoid the hassle of frozen and broken pipes and spigots by insulating and draining them. Don’t forget to drain hoses as well, and store properly until spring. This simple yet important step in the winterization process will save on costly repairs down the road.
Inspect Window & Door Frames
Often the biggest culprits of heat loss are windows and doors. Avoid wasting precious energy dollars by checking those openings inside and out. One easy fix is caulk – it helps seal problem areas, boosting energy efficiency. Not sure which type of caulk to use? No worries! Consult this handy guide or stop by our store and we’ll help you find the right one. Weather stripping is another simple solution to keep the cold air outside where it belongs. Find more how-to details in this helpful Energy.gov guide.
Here’s a quick and easy way to check for drafts: Light an incense stick and hold it around potential drafty areas. The smoke’s direction can indicate air leaks, showing where to apply caulk or place weather stripping.
Check Foundations & Other Exterior Surfaces
In particular, note where the foundation meets siding, where wires and pipes enter, dryer vents, pet doors, etc. Check for cracks and other issues such as broken vinyl siding or trim. Caulk and perform necessary repairs. Insulate pipes where needed. Inspect wood siding and trim for mildew, stains, insect damage, and blistered or peeling paint. Repair and paint or stain wood to protect and preserve from harsh winter elements. Not sure what you need? Stop by our store. We have a selection of products that can help resolve these issues.
Examine the Roof
The roof is one of your home’s first lines of defense from weather and other elements. As you know, leaks and other issues can lead to damage and costly repairs later, so a quick check up is always a good idea. Scan the roof for problem areas such as loose, broken, or missing shingles. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer, make repairs as necessary. If that’s not your thing, consult a reputable roofing company to repair these items. For additional tips on roof maintenance, check out Bob Vila’s Leaky Roof Tips.
Check Gutters & Downspouts
Gutters and downspouts are important parts of the home’s exterior drainage system, so regular cleaning is important. Leaves, pine cones and needles, dirt, and other debris can create clogs that lead to ice dams, poor drainage, and other maintenance concerns. To clean and maintain, remove debris and flush with water to ensure the system is clear of obstructions and in proper working order. Don’t forget to examine the joints, tighten brackets, and replace damaged or old gutters as necessary.
Inspect Decks, Porches, & Patios
Maintaining and keeping your outdoor structures in good shape year round translates into continued enjoyment and savings. Check for mold, mildew, structural and/or surface issues, peeling paint, etc. Remove leaves, stains, and other debris by cleaning or pressure washing these areas. As necessary, paint, stain, or seal to prepare surfaces for those harsh winter conditions. Restore, seal, and protect wood and concrete with products like NuDeck, one of our favorites for jobs like this. You’ll find more deck and porch maintenance tips in our post, A Deck Check Up.
Fall is a great time to make sure your home is safe and ready for winter. Simple preventative measures will insure savings and long-term benefits on one of your biggest investments – your home. And of course, we’re glad to lend assistance. Just stop by and let us know how we can help!