Preparing your home for the winter is no easy task. Days are getting shorter, and the cold months are just around the corner. There can be severe damages to your home. Nothing is better than being prepared for different seasons.
Sure, you may get lost in the fun of ice skating, fur jackets, hot chocolate, and the perfect weather to lounge in by the fireplace. But there are a lot of precautions to remember. Not only should you stock up food, clothes, and other essentials, you have to make sure that your home will be able to withstand the cold. Proper care and maintenance of your home will save you energy and money. Here are seven ways you can prepare your home for the winter:
1. Check Your Windows and Doorframes
Have a look around your doors and windows for any cracks and loose shutters. You want to make sure that they can be closed tightly to stop cold winds and snow from entering. If you have wooden frames and doors, they may shrink due to extreme humidity.
Replace your broken window glass and cover small gaps with caulking. Also, check your latches, hinges, and other mechanisms attached to your doors and windows since the cold weather can easily jam, remove, and damage them.
2. Weatherproof Your Garden
A low temperature could mean death to your beloved plants. Learning how to safeguard your plants can save you the time to replant every spring. As such, you need to give extra care to more sensitive plants so they can survive winter.
If you do not have the budget or the space for a greenhouse to protect your plants, then choose late-blooming, fruit-producing plants to avoid ice-damaged buds. You can also put them in a raised bed that warms up faster in the spring. You can make raised garden boxes from wood, concrete, stone, or large containers.
3. Use a Humidifier to Moisturize the Air
A lot of people face humidity problems during the cold months. Lack of humidity can make you quickly get flu and colds, dry up your skin, and cause breathing issues. A humidifier can bring comfort to your home since they add moisture to the air.
Keep in mind that too much humidity can have harmful effects indoors. Set your humidifier between 30 to 45 percent since medical experts have proven this to be the ideal range inside homes.
4. Insulate Your Pipes
Pipes may freeze when the weather gets too cold. This can cause them to burst, making you lose a healthy water source. Damaged pipes can be expensive to repair if they freeze and burst. Insulating them can prevent this problem and can also increase heating.
Check your pipes before the winter comes to see if there are any holes or cracks in them. Close any gaps between them as well. Better call a plumbing company during your preparation to help you prepare your pipes for the cold season.
5. Insulate Your Roof
Insulating the roof during the winter months is very important. According to the US Department of Energy, an insulated house can save you 10 to 20% of energy consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. Roof insulation will help with keeping heat within your living space and will also decrease your electricity bill.
You can do the installation yourself if the space is easily accessible and there are no holes or signs of moisture. But if you see leaks, it is probably best to hire a different service provider for repairs.
6. Clear the Gutters
Over the year, your gutters can often collect debris and other matter like silt, birds’ nests, mud, dried leaves, etc. Clogged gutters in the winter can cause water to sit and freeze rather than do its primary purpose: drain rainwater. These can become chunks of ice that might get stuck inside your gutters, causing some considerable damage.
Because of low temperatures and some pre-existing blockage, gutters are where icicles usually form on gutters due to water overflow. Letting icicles form can cause your gutter to break. Icicles forming on your gutters can also lead to injuries if too many accumulate, causing some to fall on your head.
7. Hire a Chimney Sweep
You’ll also need to hire a professional chimney sweep to check your chimney for damages and cracks for the upcoming winter. Before the service provider completes sweeping the chimney, they’ll also have to conduct a visual inspection to find gaps, holes, and build-up of ash in the walls of a chimney.
Like your gutters, your chimney also collects dust, debris, dirt, and soot when you don’t use your chimney. This can become blocked, causing a health hazard if you decide to use your chimney in winter. The gases will not be able to escape your home, which is why it is crucial to have your chimney cleaned before the cold weather sets in.
Now that you know what issues to look out for, you can fully prepare yourself and your home for the winter. Do not hesitate to replace any malfunctioning fixture and check everything to protect you and your loved ones from the cold.