Winterizing Your Home
Winter has arrived. If you are lucky enough to live in a place with harsh winters, it is time to do your final winterization preparation. Making sure everything is properly functioning and running smoothly, will make sure you and your family will be nice and warm this winter. Without proper precautions, winter can also cause serious damage to your home. It is easy to forget to take the time to prepare for the colder months. We are already busy people, adding this can just seem like an extra stressor. You will be thanking yourself later.
Harsh winters can cause you to put your driveway through some hard times. The common driveway we have seen recently is concrete. There are many benefits to a concrete driveway. They are easy to maintain, they are affordable, and they look nice in pretty much every setting. With that said, it does have its drawbacks. The concrete can stain easily (from gasoline, oil grease), and while the maintenance is easy, you have to maintain it regularly.
When you are going through and winterizing your home, take a look and evaluate the condition of the driveway. You will want to pay attention to cracks and joints and make sure you can get them sealed. This will help keep water out from the cracks and cause even more damage. You can also seal the entire driveway for high levels of protection.
One important thing to note is that deicing products can damage your driveway. These chemicals can cause your driveway to degrade faster and speed up your maintenance cycle. If possible, it is best to avoid these chemicals.
Windows & Doors
Keeping your house warm in the winter is hard when you have drafty windows and doors. Taking the time to winterize windows and doors will help keep you warm, but it will make your house much more efficient.
Winterizing your windows largely depends on the condition of your windows. Doing a thorough check and making sure there are no cracks in your panes or in the frames will be important. If you find a crack you will want to replace it for the peace of mind that it will last for the season. You can take preventative measures like installing weather stripping or adding an extra layer of caulking.
It can be a similar process for the doors. There are little things that you can do to make a big difference. Adding a draft guard can be a great way to block cold air. You can also just roll up towels or blankets to add an extra seal to your doors.
Take the time to double-check that your HVAC system is working properly. It is important to go through your system and make sure everything is in working order.
Throughout the year, dust, dirt, and other debris are bound to work your way through your HVAC system. Take some time to go through your equipment filters and give them a good clean. Not only will it help make sure your machines will be running smoothly, but it will help with the air quality.
Next, you should double-check your thermostats are working properly. Go through your house and make sure the temperature of your thermostat is closely matching the temperature in your house. If you find that you are getting mixed results, it could be a sign that your system is not up to standard.
Finally, you should take time to clean out all of your vents. This will make sure your house is getting optimal airflow in time for the winter. You will not have any buildup to cause your house to stay cold.
Don’t forget the Yard
You will want to make sure that you trim down your trees to remove dead branches and clear excess debris. It may not seem like an important thing to do at the moment, but not taking care of the gardening can cause some damage.
Wind, snow, and ice can cause those weak branches to fall and potentially cause damage to your home, car, or other belongings. You should make sure what is in your yard will make it through the winter in (mostly) one piece.
Going with the yard you will want to make sure you remove and drain the hoses that are attached to your home. When you remove the hoses it is important to drain the hoses, then insulate and shut off the valves.
Gutters and Drains
Once you clear the yard, now it is time for the fun stuff, cleaning out your gutters and drains. Once the temperatures drop you will want to make sure your drains are flowing so water cannot get stuck and freeze. Water freezing in your pipes can cause serious problems for your drainage system.
After all the leaves have come down from the trees, you are more than likely to have a collection up in your gutters. With the build-up, the water will collect in the drains or spill out, not in its intended departure area. This spillage can cause deterioration of the exterior of your home, or
Another important thing to look at is your drains. You want to make sure water that goes down to the foundation has a place to move. Still, water freezing under your foundation can lead to some big problems as the water freezes and thaws.
Not taking the time to clean your gutters or drains can cause more of a headache in the future than it is to just clean them.
Winter is not the time of year that you will want to be outside repairing everything that went wrong. Take the extra time before it really starts to snow and freeze to double-check everything is in order. It will increase the longevity of your house over time, and more importantly, allow you to relax. Sit by the fire and enjoy a warm beverage knowing that your house is just as ready for the winter as you are.