Winter is around the corner and now is the time to prepare your home for the change in weather. Prevention is better than cure and you don’t want to risk not inspecting your home to see whether is ready for the onslaught of rain, snow and wind.
Below are 6 actionable tips to get you started on readying your home for winter.
Time to complete all tips 31 days.
These winter maintenance tips are great for preparing your home if you live in a country or region that experiences snow/extreme weather.
- Assess garage doors and roof for leaks
Windows, roofs and garage doors need to be able to withstand the cold onslaught during this season. Ensuring that they are checked, and the needed maintenance carried out, prior to winter, is essential.
Start by looking for any obvious signs of wear and tear. Peeling paint, cracks in the surface, or rusting are all telltale signs that something needs to be fixed. Another way to determine whether there are leaks in the garage door or roof is to go inside and inspect for dampness and mould. Once you’ve found these problem areas, consider calling in an expert to evaluate whether this is a D.I.Y job or if it needs to be replaced.
- Trim trees and rake the garden
Trees with large branches or lots of leaves can become a problem during winter. Take the time out during the fall to inspect your garden for both of these issues. Large branches, especially ones that hang over or near the house or driveway, can collapse under the weight of snow. The wind can cause any old or flimsy branches to snap off too. It is best to get out there on a ladder and remove all of these before the season changes.
Furthermore, an accumulation of leaves on the grass or near the walkways will be buried under the snow and become a trap for an unsuspecting person passing through. Rake up and trim the lawn in avoidance of this.
- Caulk and weatherstrip openings
Doors usually don’t fit snuggly into the frame as they are designed to allow some air to flow through. This means during periods of rain or snow, it is likely to seep in under the door. Even windows have this type of air conductivity property. It is wise to seal them up before winter in order to keep the house warm and the cold weather out. Inspect all the window frames for caulking and replace or install where necessary. A waterproof caulking product is recommended here.
Doors should be weather-stripped too. This will act as an airtight seal preventing any cold draughts from blowing in. There are a variety of different door weather-stripping products available at hardware stores. Pick one that matches the colour of your door or is recommended by the shop assistant.
- Prevent your pipes from freezing
Water expands as it freezes which can cause pipes, both metal or plastic, to burst. This is why homeowners tend to drain all exterior piping before the onset of the cold winter weather. Look around your property for any exposed pipes that run along the exterior walls or in the pool. These need to either be insulated or drained.
Pipe insulation is cheap and can sufficiently prevent water freezing when employed. If you are looking for a longer term solution, try heating cables or tape. Once faucets and pipes have been drained, they need to be turned off.
- Service your fireplace
Soot and ash accumulate in a fireplace with repeated use and can become a general issue to the homeowner. If something should happen during winter, not only will you be left without a great source of interior heating, but can risk an uncontrolled fire breaking out.
Clean the base of the fireplace by sweeping up the ash, whilst wiping down the inside of the chimney and hearth. Homeowners can use water and soap to wash a brick hearth; water and hydrogen peroxide can be used on a slate hearth; whilst concrete hearths need to be cleaned with oxygen bleach. Also, consider installing a fireplace cap to keep out unwanted debris and snow from falling in. The gasket and damper should be inspected and repaired if there are any signs of wear and tear. You can even call in a professional chimney cleaning service to assist.
- Keep safety in mind
No matter what season it is, always remember safety first. Take the time out before winter arrives to adequately prepare your home for the change of weather conditions. A faulty fireplace, slippery garage door opener, a leaking roof and littered driveway can all lead to major winter disasters if not managed correctly. Follow the safety tips above carefully and consult other resources to gain enough information on winter home maintenance. Hire a professional when in doubt and remember to be safe
If you live in a Northern country like Norway or Canada, your home is prone to extremely cold weather conditions. For example, the city of Regina, situated deep in the heart of Canada, has average low temperatures of -20 degrees in winter. These winter home maintenance tips will prepare you for the harsh changes in the weather. Good luck!