The year slipped by quickly, and now we’re staring down a distantly approaching winter. Although it might not feel like much of a threat now, if you’re not prepared for it: your home could pay the price.
Whether you’re from an area that snows several feet, or a slightly warmer climate, it’s vital that you take the time to get your home ready. These are eight tips everyone should follow.
1. Fill Any Cracks in Concrete
A small crack in concrete in the summer can be inches thick by the next spring. The main culprit for this is the freeze and thaw cycle that happens every winter. When water gets into these cracks, it can expand as the weather cools down: it doesn't even necessarily need to freeze to expand. Then when it thaws again, which it will take multiple times through winter, it will freeze and expand even more. This can lead to large cracks that will get harder and harder to repair. It's vital to fill cracks in concrete before winter arrives.
2. Clear Gutters and Consider Gutter Covers
Your gutters are useful for dozens of reasons: but sometimes it can feel like they're a little too good at their job. When they collect leaves and debris and make it build up onto your roof: you have a major problem. In the winter, if this freezes over, it can create a dam that will ruin the health of your roof, can make your electricity bill skyrocket, and can put your home at risk of flooding in the spring.
Make sure to have your gutters cleaned every fall so that by the time the first freeze arrives: you won't be caught unaware. Inspect and tighten gutter screws and other hardware often to prevent leakage and prolong life. If you want to avoid the constant cleaning and climbing onto your roof, a great option is gutter guards that will allow the debris to simply slide off.
3. Check The Health of Your Roof
How old is your roof? The average roof only lasts thirty to forty years, depending on the material it's made of and the weather it's in. You can tell the health of your roof at a quick glance if you look at the color, shape, and condition of the shingles. If they're discolored, starting to warp, or you have some that are flapping around in the wind: it's time to replace them or your entire roof. This is your main defense against the weather, and if it's not working correctly, you need to take it seriously.
4. Inspect Windows for Leaks
Our windows can be one of the largest energy suckers in our homes. If there’s a leak, it could lower the entire temperature of your property, regardless of how high you turn up the heater. Look for which window sash could be leaking air, and then shop for insert replacement windows that can help seal your home better.
5. Look At Your Insulation
Your insulation has a lot of say in how much your heating and cooling bills will be. Many homes have insulation in the ceiling, floor, and walls: do you know how well insulated your property is? Do you know how old your insulation is? Have a professional check your property and give you a clear reading on what your home needs for the winter.
6. Pay Attention to Any Tilting
Do any of your doorways suddenly feel askew? Have you noticed that your cabinets won't stay shut, or there are suddenly cracks on walls that weren't cracked before? Although settling can cause some imbalance in a property: these are also warning signs of a cracked foundation. Your foundation is vital to the safety of your property: and if it's cracked before winter arrives, you need to get it repaired before the first freeze. Take the time to talk to a professional.
7. Replace Out of-Date Siding
Old siding can be a huge issue in the colder months. This is one of your home’s main lines of defense against cold and moisture: and if it’s not working, you’re setting yourself up for failure. If your siding is older than 20 years, take the time to look for warping, mold, cracks, or discoloration. If any of this is present: it may be time to look into other house siding options that will look great and protect your home.
8. Have Your HVAC System Checked
Your HVAC system should be inspected once a year to ensure it's functioning correctly. If you wait until the cooler season arrives, you could be dealing with long lines and higher fees. Getting services during the fall, when their lines are shorter, and there are fewer work orders, might help you score a better deal. Make sure to swap out your air filter at least once every other month.
Every Property Could Use Help Before a New Season
Winter is the harshest season on any property, so it’s vital that you take the time to make sure your property is ready for it. Consider following some of these tips before the cooler weather sets in.