Unpredictable fall weather means it’s time to put summer vacations behind you and start planning for winter .
Switching coveted leisure time to home chores can be a difficult challenge. More than a few homeowners want to keep kicking back on weekends. But autumn winds mean all hands on deck. Homeowners who procrastinate could find their properties vulnerable to seasonal changes. These are some things to keep in mind about winterizing your home.
Fill The Cost Gaps
Arguably the single biggest waste of money is allowing heating and cooling loss. The small gaps where doors, windows and other material meet can be a conduit for migrating air. Drafts cause utility bills to increase with homeowners reaping zero benefit. Consider addressing these areas.
- Windows: It’s important to remember that window caulking has a limited life span. As it cracks, shrinks and expands, its efficiency diminishes. Check it annually and don’t hesitate to replace it.
- Weather Stripping: weather stripping can save a boatload of cash. Most home stores carry products that act like tape and fill the seams around doors. It’s an easy DIY project that can more than pay for itself.
- Door Guards: Similar to weather stripping, door guards are designed to eliminate drafts under the doors. There are permanent and temporary products that can address this issue.
Gutter Avoid Disaster
A common problem homeowners overlook is the gutters. When these become clogged with leaves, twigs and other material, water can back up and impact the outer walls of a home. Water penetrations remain the single greatest danger to homes and homeowners. Moisture behind walls and under floor boards can spur dangerous mold growths. Certain molds can cause critical health conditions, particularly among our valued elders and young children. As we frequently suffer freezing temperatures, gutters can fill, freeze and break. Better to clean them out now than buy new ones in the spring. It’s always easy to see where the cracks are when a Chinook comes in!
When people think about insulation, the pink stuff in the attic usually comes to mind. While that remains an excellent product to mitigate energy loss, and you should check to make sure you are adequately covered, let’s talk about another type. Water lines can be negatively impacted by cold weather. Frozen pipes can crack, burst and cause a flood. Check for areas that are exposed, especially in garages. It only takes one sharp cold snap to damage water lines and a home’s interior. The time and cost of wrapping exposed pipes could prove far less expensive than hiring a plumber and remediation contractor.
Outside Faucets and Sprinkler systems
Make sure all your outside faucets and winterized by turning off the water at the valve and turning on the faucet to make sure all the water has drained out. Shut off the faucet after, I have shown a house where next door someone had turned on the water inside and the faucet was running outside for hours without them knowing! Sprinkler systems should be blown out to remove all the water from underground pipes and sprinkler heads to ensure it will be fully functional come spring. When preparing a home for winter, think in terms of air and water. Those are the culprits that will cost you money and jeopardize your family.
It’s always best to be prepared and plan ahead to prevent disasters and this is also true when you are thinking of moving. I often meet with clients up to 6-9 months before they are thinking of selling and this leads to a much less stressful process when the time comes to move. If you would like to chat about your home ahead of time please call on me 403-919-4574 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to meeting with you!