As the weather cools and you grab your sweaters, don’t forget about preparing your home for the winter chill. We’ve pulled together a list of the top projects to get your home ready for winter.
1. Repair Your Roof
The roof takes the brunt of hard winters. It’s your first defense against rain, snow, and hail. You can prevent expensive problems by making small repairs before you have a major leak.
Check your roof for missing shingles, loose shingles, moss growth, and caulking. You’ll probably be able to address small problems on your own. If you have a larger problem, consider hiring a professional to get your roof in top shape.
2. Seal Gaps and Add Insulation
Check the caulking and weather-stripping around windows and doors. Repairing a crack is simple, inexpensive, and makes your home more energy-efficient.
Is cool air coming in through windows and door seals? Weather stripping is your solution, and any hardware store will have it. All you need to do is cut and adhere.
If your home is older, make sure it has proper insulation. This can be a larger project that’s best left for a professional contractor, but it will pay off in the long run.
3. Clean the Gutters
If you get lots of rain during the winter, you may have thousands of gallons of water flowing through your gutters each year. Gutters do the important work of keeping water flowing away from your home.
Start the wet season with clean gutters. Better yet, get ahead of the game by installing a mesh guard to keep leaves and debris from clogging up your gutters. Clogged gutters can force water where it doesn’t belong – the attic or the foundation.
4. Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you’ve ever returned from vacation to discover you were heating an empty house, you’ll appreciate programmable thermostats that automatically shut off. Better yet, learn about smart thermostats that automatically adjust the settings when no one’s home.
5. Repair Cracks in the Driveway and Walkways
Why worry about cracks? Because water expands when it freezes and makes cracks even worse. Sealing the cracks will prevent bigger problems from developing.
Re-sealing your driveway every three years will keep it in good working condition. Winter brings plenty of hazards for your driveway, so learn more about what you can do to protect it.
6. Winterize Faucets and Sprinklers
If you live in an area with freezing temperature, make sure your outdoor faucets and sprinklers are safe. To prevent bursting when water freezes, install freeze-proof faucets. Depending on the type of faucets you have, this may be a simple switch.
7. Check the Fireplace
Don’t let your cozy fireplace become a statistic. Checking the fireplace for hazards before you start burning could be the difference between a relaxing evening and a house fire. Hire a professional to clean out the fireplace and check for creosote so you can enjoy safe burning throughout the winter.
8. Store or Cover Air Conditioning Units
Remove window units and store them in a dry place for the winter. For outdoor units, cover them completely to prevent water from collecting and rusting. You can use a tarp or buy a cover for about $50. The cover will last for years and it’s much less expensive than dealing with rust.
What are you waiting for? Take an afternoon to get your home ready so you can enjoy cool autumn evenings. If some of these projects seem like they may be above your DIY skills — don’t be afraid to get professional help. A service like Contractor Connection helps homeowners find qualified and insured professional contractors in your area.