6 Must-Do’s to Prepare Your Home for Winter
Now that fall is finally here, it’s time to start preparing your home for the next cooler days so that you can keep your home warm and cozy in the cold winter days.
Ground water settles at a certain level in the ground below and this level is known as the “water table.” A major snowmelt or prolonged heavy rains, the water table can rise and, when it does, crawl space or basement water problems often occur. Moisture creeps into the home and your foundation is impacted by the hydrostatic pressure that creates.
Your foundation is a strong system that is built to last over 100 years, but there are some situations that can occur which will cause cracks or bowing of the foundation walls. One of the most common reasons for bowing is water pressure pushing against the foundation walls. When this happens, you’ll need to consider foundation repair services.
Start conducting little home maintenance and repairs to keep yourself and your home ready for the colder seasons, so you don’t find yourself in need of corrective work in the thick of the winter when temperatures drop.
Here are the top six strategies to prepare your home for winter.
1. Check-up On Your Heating System
Making sure your heating system is in good working order is possibly the most critical step you can take in winterizing your house.
If you feel a bit too cold inside your home this winter, even with the thermostat turned all the way up, it’s a sign that your heater is on the fritz and maybe on its last legs. On a cold night, no one wants to be stuck with a dysfunctional heating system.
Hire a heating company as soon as possible so they can inspect and tune up your existing heater, or install a new one if the old one should be replaced.
While you may feel warm and the system appears to be in good operating order, your heater may begin draining your bank account with large electricity bills if some components fail to function properly. Be energy-efficient this winter.
2. Insulate Pipes
It’s common for outdoor pipes to freeze and burst on winter days if you don’t properly drain and insulate them. Any sort of pipes that are exposed to an unheated area can become potential hazards.
You can get proper insulation for your pipes at hardware stores. Measure the length you need, wrap the pipes, and secure them with duct tape.
3. Clean Out Gutters
The main reason basements get wet is poor drainage around the foundation. This leads to excess soil moisture, causing hydrostatic pressure to build up. Hydrostatic pressure is powerful enough to push water through foundation wall cracks you didn’t even know were there. The most effective basement waterproofing method is a drain tile system. A drain tile system is a gold standard for basement waterproofing because it solves the root problem: poor drainage in the soil around the foundation.
Examine your gutters to see if they’re in good shape. If not, you’ll need to get them replaced before the rainy and snowy seasons arrive.
To avoid clogs during heavy rain or snow, remove leaves, moss, and other debris from the gutters.
Don’t delay this one since the gutters can freeze up and cause damage to the roof and walls.
A leaf blower can be a handy tool in the process, but you can certainly hire professional help that will get those gutters cleaned out.
4. Caulk the Doors and Windows
As you move around your house, look for drafts in your windows and doors. Then, as needed, caulk around door and window frames.
Ensure that you have adequate insulation to keep the heat inside throughout the winter.
Also, make repairs to any broken doors or fences. This can help you avoid more damage during the severe winter months and keep your home safe from burglars.
5. Clean Your Chimney and Fireplace
Before you start using your fireplace, make sure to call in for a professional to clean sweep your chimney and fireplace. This will prevent carbon monoxide poisoning and chimney fires in your home.
6. Get Your Roof Checked
Throughout the year, roof slates/tiles can become loose, leading to leaks in the winter. Before the colder months arrive, it’s a good idea to get a professional to inspect your roof and ensure no issues need to be addressed.