The first day of winter is officially December 21st, but preparing your home for the cold season can be done today. We have already seen the first snowfall of the winter season and more is on the way. Below are some helpful tips to winterize your home.
1. Check Windows and Doors
Inspect your windows for cracks and gaps. Ensuring your windows are sealed properly keeps the cold out and the heat in. Also, check for gaps under doors and along the door frames. You can apply weather-stripping or caulking or have a contractor do it for you.
If you are looking to replace your windows completely, consider installing dual-pane windows to increase energy efficiency.
2. Inspect Insulation
Inspect the attic and basement for proper insulation. If you are unsure, have someone come out and inspect it for you. They can check walls and outlets for any drafts as well, and provide additional insulation if necessary. Having adequate insulation ensures that you and your family stay warm and your heater or furnace isn’t having to work too hard.
3. Clean Gutters and Roof
Clean out your gutters to prevent backups during the next winter storm. Also, check your roof, remove any debris and replace loose shingles with new ones. Then, make sure water and snow can easily run off your roof and into the gutters. This check can help identify problematic areas and ensure your roof is in good condition. You can also check for low-hanging limbs from nearby trees that may need trimming before the next storm to prevent severe damage.
4. Have Your Fireplace Inspected & Cleaned
Your chimney should be inspected once a year to remain in good working order and safe to use. If you use your chimney quite a bit, you may have build-up or deposits that will need to be cleared before using. If you don’t use your chimney very often, birds, squirrels and other critters may be using your chimney and need to be relocated before you begin using it.
These days, more homes are equipped with gas and electric fireplaces, but there are still some maintenance checks you can do to ensure those are working properly. If you have a gas fireplace, check that the pilot light is on and all vents are clear. Inspect logs for cracks and replace any damaged parts. For electric fireplaces, vacuum up any dust that has accumulated and check that all electrical wiring is in good condition.
5. Shut Off Sprinkler System
Freezing temperatures can cause severe and costly damage to sprinkler systems. Shut off your lawn irrigation system, ensuring the automatic timers have been stopped, and insulate any aboveground piping. Refer to this list for more tips on how to winterize your sprinkler system.
Spending some time winterizing your home before the harsh winter months can make your home more comfortable and protected. Browse this checklist from Home Advisor for additional tips and do-it-yourself fixes.
Looking to buy a new house? Contact us and let’s find your new home just in time for the holidays.