As we prepare our schedules for winter activities, our homes can use some maintenance as well. When you see there is a freeze warning from your local weather report, you may be too late to ask the question: “When should I winterize my home?” Here are some cost efficient ways to prepare your home for cold weather, and save money on preventable repairs down the road as a result.
Gutters: Clean out all of your gutters from debris and make sure none of them are broken or coming loose from the roof.
Roof Maintenance/Ceiling Checkup: Make sure thee are no loose or missing shingles on your roof, no minor water leaks, and also peak your head in the attic to be sure there is enough insulation.
Yard Maintenance: It is time to finish the mowing/edging one last time, trim shrubs and branches, and make sure to inspect that your trees don’t need trimming as well. However, save the deep pruning until late winter right before everything starts to grow! You may want to put some new mulch down as well to protect the roots of your plants and wrap certain kinds of shrubs to protect from ice and the elements. Note: Some lawn professionals suggest mulching your leaves with a few passes of your mower instead of raking and bagging them up. Teenagers, this is my gift to you. Show your parents.
Cover Outdoor Faucets: Purchase some styrofoam outdoor faucet covers and keep them in place for the winter season. They can help you save a LOT of money. This is perhaps the most inexpensive preventative measure for your home in cold weather.
Weatherstripping and window seals: Seal any gaps that are as wide as a nickel or thicker. Any Home Depot, Lowes, etc. can help you find the right products for the type of windows you have. Check the weatherstripping on exterior doors and make sure you cannot see any sunlight coming in.
Home Heating: Keep your home heated and never turn your furnace off completely. If there is a deep freeze, consider turning on your indoor faucets to a very slow drip and opening kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to let the warm air circulate near the pipes.