This is a collaborative post.
Homes, like relationships, deteriorate faster when there is a lack of attention. Preparing your home for winter is not exactly about how you plan on spending your fall, but it is a necessary task. According to statistics, the United Kingdom recorded over 25,000 winter-related deaths last year, and experts fear a potential 120,000 due to the COVID-19. For your own health and safety, it’s a good idea not to put off getting your home ready before winter hits. Take a look at this checklist to find out some of the tasks that you should consider taking on before the cold sets in.
Insulate your doors and windows
Surging bills reduce the comfort you need inside your home when it’s freezing outside. Unfortunately, you may have air leakages in your windows during the winter season. Your energy cost continues to increase, but experts have suggested a 20% decrease in energy cost when winter drafts are at the barest minimum inside your home. Check your old windows for glazing putty, which may have fallen away or grown brittle. Even newer aluminium windows or vinyl may have damaged gaskets and weather stripping, letting in cold air.
Trim your tree branches
The winter storm can cause significant damage to your home, especially with tree branches slanting all over your rooftop. Excess water from overhanging limbs can also break into your home’s siding and rooftop. This is why it is advisable to keep your tree branches about 3-feet away from your house. However, trimming trees too early may cause new branches to sprout just before winter hits. The new branches will die due to the chilly temperatures and cause undue pressure on the tree. If the trees are not correctly taken care of, they’ll be vulnerable to breaks during the harsh weather, leading to potentially dire results.
Inspect your roof
Take a quick inspection of your roof. If you are not comfortable with heights, you can hire somebody to examine the rooftop, although you can do so yourself with a well-fastened shoe with non-slip soles. Inspect the roof for any damaged or missing shingles and have them replaced immediately. Ensure the gutters are clean with no leaves and debris congesting them. Often, gutters are clogged with wet leaves during winter and add weight to the drain when frozen, which increases the risk of damage. Check for flashings around rooftop projections, as this can be a source for leakages.
Consider getting a generator
Do you live in an area prone to power outages during the winter? If so, you should consider getting a generator to help keep some light and warmth during prolonged winter power blackouts. Besides, both convenient and reserve generators are accessible and available depending on your requirements and budgets. Generators are essential for every home during winter. Large generators require more fuel to run, while portable generators will need a carbon monoxide detector to avoid killing yourself to stay warm. Do your research to find the ideal size for your home.
Clear out your gutters
Congested rain gutters can damage your home’s foundation or cause an ice dam, leading to expensive repairs. Clear your gutters of the twigs, fallen leaves, and filth that clog up in there occasionally. Likewise, ensure your gutters are not drooping and trapping water, fix drain holders, and replace any damaged or worn-out materials. Pests like termites, carpenter ants, raccoons, and springtails will find clogged gutters accommodating due to the excessive moisture, but as the winter gets colder, they will begin to sneak their way into your home. The last thing you want is a pest infestation, which can have severe implications on your home.
Check your heating and air-conditioning system
How you maintain your heating and air condition system will determine how long they last, although most usually last between 12 and 15 years. Even so, take some time to have your filters changed before the cold creeps in. Get your heating and air system checked by an HVAC specialist to ensure they’ll be ready when you need them. You can also go over your yearly maintenance agreement and have everything checked to ensure your heating will work when you need it. It is much better to discover an HVAC issue in moderate fall temperatures than finding out your heater doesn’t work during a chilly winter storm.
Get your landscape ready
Before the winter comes, make sure to get your lawn and garden ready by following standard guidelines to ensure proper care for your flower beds, grounds, and other planting areas. Move garden accessories like patio furniture, shovels, pruners, and other gardening tools to your storeroom. Dry your water fountains, properly seal your wooden deck for more winter resistance, and clean and cover your immovable garden equipment.
As the beginning of winter marks the beginning of the season of giving, if you see yourself as a keen environmental conservationist, why not consider purchasing Celtic titles to help preserve, and sustain a nature reserve in Ireland this winter. Not only will you be able to visit your plot of land at any time, you will also become a Lord or Lady of Ireland! Now, that’s a win-win.
Prepare your sprinkler systems
Your home sprinkler system is one of the most overlooked places when preparing your home for winter. Winterizing your sprinkler system includes shutting off the water, depleting the pipes, and getting rid of any free water in them. You can then open the test cock on the vacuum breaker to permit air into the system, which keeps moisture from freezing and breaking the plastic water lines. This isn’t difficult to do by yourself, although you can have your lawn service handle it for you.
Secure your pool area
The type of pool you have would determine how you get them ready for winter. An above-ground or in-ground pool comes with varying features, therefore requiring different techniques in winterizing them. If you are going to do this work yourself, follow all manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations. More so, if you are leaving it to your pool maintenance personnel, insist that all critical winter preparation processes are adhered to. For ground pools, balance the water chemistry a week to closure, shock and clean your pool, and remove all accessory items like skimmer baskets, solar blankets, ladders, etc.
Inspect the fireplace and the chimney
If you have a fireplace in your home, get it cleaned by a chimney sweep. Likewise, you should have your chimney checked for any cracks or debris from leaves and bird nests, which could turn into a fire hazard. The fireplace can be your favourite place during winter if adequately inspected. When inspecting your wood-burning fireplace, ensure there are no flammable materials, such as bird nestlings or other alien objects in the flue, while the flue damper opens and closes properly. Although gas fireplaces involve little maintenance, you should check for cracks around them, ensure gas logs are correctly positioned, inspect the gas valve, and examine the igniter.
Touch up your home security
Crime rates go up during winter; therefore, it is vital to secure your fences and entryways and make sure all your doors are working correctly. According to statistics, domestic break-ins are 1.14 times more likely to occur during winter than in the summer. While this has been mainly attributed to the longer nights and Christmas festivities, it is still essential to strengthen your home security. Some safety tips include installing lights to create the impression you are home, especially during night time.
Winter is quickly approaching, whether you are prepared or not. Cold weather can do severe damage to your home. Therefore, it is essential to get your home ready before the chills take hold. These essentials should make your home comfortable for a cosier winter.