Winter brings freezing temperatures, along with freezing rain and ice. Homeowners that don’t take the time to winterize their houses often face expensive heat bills as the temperatures drop. Winter storms can also damage a home not prepared for the season. Tackling maintenance chores is rarely anyone’s idea of fun, especially on the weekend. However, completing one or two projects a week in the summer and fall can make winterizing your home a little more manageable.
What Condition are Your Shingles In?
A visual roof inspection is recommended at least once a year. Summer and winter storms can loosen, bend, and even remove shingles. Losing shingles means your roof is more prone to leaking, and you don’t want the first winter snowstorm to drip into your home. Along with the condition of the shingles, you also want to look for cracks in the caulking. Don’t forget to check the seal around the vent pipes. It’s often the first area that experiences issues with leaking in the winter.
It is typically easier and less expensive to have your roof repaired in warmer weather. Contacting a roofing professional ensures any problems are identified and properly repaired.
Are Your Windows Insulated?
You don’t want cold drafts wafting through your home in the winter. It raises your heating bills and makes the house uncomfortable. A primary cause of winter drafts is often your windows. The caulking can crack and peel away, exposing uncomfortable drafts.
Reapplying the caulking is a simple maintenance project. You can even make it fun by cracking up the volume on your AV receiver. After all, there’s no reason why you can’t have music while working. Rope caulk easily fills in gaps and it’s also inexpensive at most hardware and home improvement stores. Another option is using shrink film to insulate your windows. The film peels away easily in the summer.
Take a Look at Your Tree Branches
Tree branches growing over your roof pose a threat in the winter. Ice forming from freezing rain can weigh heavily on tree branches causing them to break and fall. You do not want a tree branch falling into your roof in the winter. Repairs are expensive and they can take days to finish.
A good tip to remember is to keep all tree branches at least three feet away from your house. You may also want to let a professional tree-trimming service handle this chore. Not only do they have the proper equipment, but they also know where to trim without damaging the tree.
Do You Have an Indoor Fireplace?
Homeowners with indoor fireplaces stay warm and cozy in the winter. A wood or gas-burning fireplace can also help cut energy usage down. Wood and gas are usually less expensive than electricity. The warmth from the fireplace also means your heater isn’t working as hard to heat the house.
You can do a visual inspection, but it is best to have a professional look over the fireplace. They have the equipment to inspect the inside and outside of the chimney. If a problem is discovered, the professionals can repair it before cold weather arrives.
Remove Debris from Gutters and Downspouts
It is a messy job, but it is also necessary. Allowing leaves and other debris to clog your gutters blocks water drainage. When your gutters are not draining, interior and exterior water damage commonly occurs. Depending on the amount of damage, repairs can be expensive.
After cleaning out the gutters, reattach any that are sagging or coming loose from the house. Replace any damaged parts, including downspout brackets.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
A simple way to lower heating costs while still staying warm is to reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Reversing the direction the fan blades spin draws heat down, helping you stay warm without turning up the thermostat.
Reversing your ceiling fan is a simple process. Some models have a switch or chain on the base. Some ceiling fans also come with remote control devices. There should be a button on the remote that reverses the direction of the blades.
Getting your home ready for winter can seem like a daunting task. However, spreading the projects out can make the task more manageable. Don’t forget to call the professionals to resolve any problems. It’s worth the expense when your home stays warm throughout the winter.
Credit to Karl Kennedy @Projectortop.com