A lot of homeowners do not think it is necessary to prepare for winter but starting now, you can make sure that your home is in great shape for the next few months and you can enjoy your winter. If you live in an area that experiences harsh weather, you should create a plan to prepare your home. Winter is near and there is not a lot of time to plan and prepare, so you need to start right away and ensure that when the cool winds hit, you can rest easy.
1. Insulate the pipes
If there is an exposed pipe running along the wall or in an unheated space, it could be a major potential hazard. There are times when the water could freeze and it could cause bursting of the pipe if the temperatures dip lower than 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The best way to protect your pipes is through insulation. You can buy it at a hardware store and cut it according to the pipe’s length. You can wrap it on and secure it with duct tape.
2. Check the tree branches
It is important to scan the property for any branches that are growing on the driveway, garage, power lines, or house. If there is a storm, they could come down and lead to massive damage. Even if the branches rub together, it will cause breakage. It is important to look for the signs of dead leaves or the areas with mushroom sprouts. In case you notice anything suspicious, you must call a professional for evaluation.
3. Check the gutters
A lot of homes have gutters that are clogged with dead leaves and this debris could freeze into an icy mass and could damage your roof. Hence, get on a ladder and remove the debris so that water easily drains. If there are a lot of leaves clogging the gutter, use a leaf blower and get it removed in time. You might also need the help of a handyman in case of a heavy load.
4. Avoid freezing of the door locks
People living in very cold climates have often had to deal with this problem. You will see the door locks freezing due to the cold and to avoid this, you need to spray some graphite lubricant in all the door locks and then use the key to turn the lock. It is essential to do it once in the season each year.
5. Remove the perennials
You do not need to cut back all the perennials, keep the ones that have a nice shape as they look even better in winter. There are perennials that shed the leaves annually and you can trim them before winter sets in. It is best to use a trimmer or clippers and cut the plants a few inches. It will not only make the garden tidier but will also remove the harmful insects from the home.
6. Block the drafts
Try holding a lit candle on the windowsill and your baseboard. If you see the candle flicker, it is a sign of a draft. Whenever you eliminate the draft, you increase the energy efficiency of the home. If there are baseboards, simply dry and clean the area and use white caulking to fill the gaps in the twin and floor. Now smoothen using a wet finger and cut the excess using a cloth.
You should also check your garage, too. Improperly insulated garages or improperly installed garage doors can drain heat in your home. If you think your garage might be a source of cold air, you may need to look into garage door repair.
7. Clean the fireplace
When you use the fireplace more than five to six times a year, you need to have it inspected and cleaned by an expert at least once a year. This will help remove the built-up soot. Even if you do not use the fireplace throughout the year, you need to get it inspected at least once in three years.
8. Check the furnace
As winter sets in, you should hire heating, air-conditioning, and ventilation contractor to ensure that the boiler or furnace operates efficiently and safely. With the help of a professional, you can pull the burners and check all the sensors and contacts in addition to replacing the filter. If you want to keep the appliance running, you must inspect its filter each month and replace it whenever it turns black or brown. Always opt for the pleated version because it has a lot of particle trapping surface area.
These are some of the things you need to look into before the winter months set it. If you plan and prepare well in advance, you will not have any trouble in the next few months of winter. Remember, anything that is out of sight should not be out of mind. Prepare a checklist and ensure that nothing is left uninspected.