Once fall rolls in, you need to start making your home ready for the bitter winter’s frigid assault. Though winterizing your home doesn’t sound as exciting as enjoying the autumn foliage, visiting the pumpkin patch, or picking apples, you have to prioritize it before the snow starts falling. You can’t dilly-dally because harsh winter elements can do a lot of home damage. As the famous adage goes: prevention is better than cure. No one wants to feel the winter chill creeping inside. With this 5 winter prepping ideas, you can enjoy your abode even when the temperature drops:
Failure to beef up your attic insulation will let the cold seep in and cause a spike in your energy bills. Have professionals come in and check if you need to replace your existing ones. Good insulation choices are fibreglass or mineral wool. It would help if you also sealed any existing gaps or cracks. Noteworthy, neglected attics become the winter home of birds and squirrels. They will cause damage and potential health hazards. For best results, trim tree branches to ensure they don’t lead to your roof or attic windows. It is an excellent idea to place a screen behind the gable vents to deter pesky critters. Do take an exterior visual inspection of your roof and attic windows to verify that there are no holes or crevices that will allow birds and the chilly air to creep in.
Protect Your Pipes
Frozen pipes can cause you a lot of money! If you have a pool, make sure that you close and prep it properly for the winter. Check to see if there are any issues so you can call a professional in case there are problems that should be nipped in the bud. You also have to close down your sprinklers properly. You need to shut down the line for the whole winter season. Do have the lines blown out to ensure there’s no water left inside. The same goes for your exterior water faucet. Shut off its valve and drain the line. When water freezes, it will expand, causing damages to your pipes and cracks in the seals.
Test-Run Your Heating System
It is always prudent to test-run your heating before the bitter cold comes. Most HVAC’s last a good 15 years, but this depends on how you maintain it. It could be a lot shorter than that! The fall season is the perfect time to maintain your HVAC. You have to change the filters at the very least. If it is a very old system, have a professional come in to take a look. Ensuring that the heat works when you need it will save your family from any hassles. This is best done while the temp is still moderate and pleasant during the fall rather than waiting to see your furnace doesn’t work in the thick of winter.
Seal Gaps Around Your Doors and Windows
One of the culprits that can wreak havoc into your energy bills is the blasted winter draft. If your doors and windows have air leaks, it will certainly destroy the warm, cozy vibe of your home. Apart from increasing your energy consumption, the cold seeping in may cause health problems for your kids. Fortunately, there are easy, cheap solutions. You can add plastic weather stripping or rope caulking to seal your windows. Others use a shrink film which is clear plastic sheeting applied with double-sided tape to seal the window gaps. Clear nail polish can be used to apply to glass cracks for stabilization until you get it replaced in the spring. As for your doors, do purchase an affordable snake draft. It is a foam and fabric tubing material that you can place under your doors to prevent the cold from coming in.
Protect Your Wood Deck
Finally, you must protect any exterior wood trimming against the winter elements. Usually, your wood deck is made from rot-resistant materials that are also pressure treated. However, wear and tear will cause deterioration. Do a water test to check if the seals are intact. Pour some water on your deck. If it beads up, everything is fine. However, if it absorbs water, it means you need to work on it, so it doesn’t rot. Make sure that all cracks are caulked, painted, and applied with a sealant to deter any water from seeping in. You can readily do this yourself before any problems escalate.
Bonus tip: Don’t forget to protect your outdoor patio furniture sitting on your deck. Cover it on a warm, clear day to ascertain that moisture is not trapped inside. You don’t want any moulds or mildew to fester inside!