10 Smart Ways to Weatherize Your Home
Not many people are fond of the winter season and will do countless things to avoid the cold once the temperature drops. In the same way, homes also don’t adapt easily to different seasons and require extensive preparation to survive. Here are ten ways that will help keep your home in good shape for the cold season. You will thank yourself once spring arrives!
1. CLEAR YOUR GUTTERS.
It’s a tough job but it can make your life easier if done the right way and at the right time. To prevent clogging, clean your gutters to get rid of debris. It will allow for snow to drain properly instead of getting stuck and will refreeze eventually, which can cause the formation of ice dams and structural damage to your home.
Gutter guards are also a great substitute. They will help keep out unwanted litter from your gutter and will only need to be brushed off from time to time to ensure its maximum effectiveness. Another alternative would be using a leaf blower to remove obstructions faster than working by hand.
2. CHECK ALL YOUR BATTERIES.
Make it a habit to test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure that they are in working condition. Not only will this help you stay consistent in the long run, but it also ensures your safety since winter is the peak season for fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. An easy way to do this is switching them to fresh ones every time you change the clocks for daylight saving time.
3. BE ROOF-READY.
A leaky roof and snow are not a good combination. To avoid running into issues that lead to costly repairs, having a roof inspection is vital. Make sure to check for the following:
- Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
- Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
- Missing or broken shingles.
- Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
- Masses of moss and lichen could signal the roof is decaying underneath.
In addition, make sure to examine your attic and ceilings for staining from water leakage. Keeping it well ventilated to prevent mold and mildew is also ideal. If you live in an area that’s prone to snow, investing in a snow roof rake is highly recommended.
4. INSPECT YOUR FIREPLACE.
According to the Chimney Safety Institute of America, there should only be a 1-inch layer of ash in the fireplace to make it easier to build and maintain a fire. Other than that, now is the time to clean your fireplace and remove excessive and flammable debris that can pose a serious hazard. If you use it often, experts advise having your fireplace checked at least once a year. To avoid attracting pests, be sure to store your wood far away from your home.
A dirty chimney is absolutely not a place where Santa wants to be so don’t forget to check outside! Make sure to check for the following:
- A chimney cap is present and in good condition
- There are no birds nest, debris, tree limbs, or any form of obstruction.
- The mortar and bricks on the chimney are complete and aren’t crumbling or missing.
- The chimney rises at least 2 feet above where it exits the roof.
5. TRIM YOUR TREES.
The winter season is prone to bringing strong winds, rain, and even storms. As a result, trees with weak root systems tend to break and branches can fall anytime, which can damage your home’s roof or siding. To prevent this, take time to cut any tree limbs or branches near your home or make sure that they are at least 3 feet away from the house.
6. PREP YOUR HEATING SYSTEM.
Proper heating is essential during the winter and making sure it’s prepped and ready is part of this checklist. It should also go hand in hand with replacing the air filter because having an unaided and dirty air filter slows down airflow, makes a system work harder, and most of all, wastes energy.
Energy Star recommends checking filters monthly and changing them at least every three months.
7. INSULATE ALL WINDOWS AND DOORS.
There are plenty of ways to stay warm without hurting your monthly bill! According to the U.S. Energy Department, you can lower your home’s energy costs by up to 20% per year while still making your living space more comfortable. One way is to insulate your windows. The hot weather during summer can leave leaks and cracks in your windows. They could easily be repaired by caulking or putting weather stripping to keep the cold air out. Switching to thermal lined curtains or drapes can also keep your home extra toasty.
A manual inspection is also vital in making sure that your sashes and inner lock do not need changing. Another way is to seal your doors. To prevent heat from escaping, try installing draft guards attached to the bottom of your door. A rolled towel also makes a great alternative.
8. WINTERIZE YOUR PIPES.
Having frozen pipes can be a huge hassle. It can cause water shortage, a major flood, and the list goes on and on! Pipe insulation is often overlooked and underappreciated but it is super helpful. Not only does it reduce heat loss and optimize your heating system but it can also conserve energy and save you a lot of bucks! Some ways to keep your pipes from freezing are to keep your garage door closed and maintain the temperature of your home above 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
In addition, draining your outside faucets can make a huge difference. If left undrained, they can develop leaks or worse, cause floods in your basement.
9. MAINTAIN ALL OUTDOOR EQUIPMENT.
Regardless of any climate, storing your equipment and adding a layer of protection to your outdoor space is a must. Here are some things that you can add to your checklist:
- Cover or move patio furniture.
- Unload gas from all gas-powered equipment.
- Check that all outdoor lighting is in working condition. If you don’t have one, make sure to get one right away.
- Clean and store outdoor power tools like mowers and trimmers.
- Inspect your snowblower (if you have one). It will come in handy when winter comes.
- Debug plants before bringing them inside. Typically, you should bring your plants in before temperatures dip below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Shut off the sprinkler system before the ground freezes.
- Aerate the lawn so it can breathe. Make sure to use winterizing soil so it will stay safe when the temperature drops.
- Put cold-weather things in a safe place that you can easily access.
10. PREP A STORM SURVIVAL KIT.
As the motto of Girl Scout goes: Be prepared! It’s always better to be one step ahead and have a backup plan at all times. You can always customize your kit to fit your needs but here are some basic items that you can include:
- Snow shovel
- Flashlights and extra batteries
- Weather radio
- Emergency car kit (extra blankets, radio, ice scraper, car charger, jumper cables)
- Water and nonperishable food
- First aid kit
The Minteer Real Estate Team has a passion for delivering top quality service and helping clients find their dream home. Is someone you know wanting to sell their home? Or maybe you are finally ready to buy? Contact us at 817-796-9172 or firstname.lastname@example.org TODAY. Our highly qualified agents are waiting to help! We’ve been helping clients for over thirty years!