It’s time to complete that list of home winterizing. There’s no more putting it off. If you don’t get it done now, you will be trying to do it when it is bitter cold and windy or even worse, snowing! No matter what you have on your list, be sure to check out the following tips to see if you need to add these to it.
Clean water drainage system. Seems odd to think of spring rain now, but if your gutters and water removal system are not working properly, the spring rain will reek havoc on your yard and maybe even leak into your basement! Your gutters could have a lot of leaves and dirt in them. These solids can freeze with water and weigh down your gutters, causing them to sag or break. Check all your downspouts for any blockage. Make sure that all the connections on the gutter to the downspouts and the downspouts to your water drainage systems are snug and secure. If your gutter and drainage system are clean and working at optimum levels, the spring rain will be a welcomed sight.
Winterize outside and exposed plumbing. If you have any exposed pipes, they need to be drained and filled with antifreeze. If you have an outside hose hook up (silcock or hose bibb) or exterior faucet, these also need to be drained. Using an insulated cover for the the silcock can make a huge difference to keep cold, winter air out of your water supply.
Insulate. Insulation can be key to saving you money in many ways. Check your attic to see how much insulation you have keeping your warm air in. Opinions differ about the exact amount recommended for your home. 12” of insulation should provide sufficient protection from unwanted air exchange. Check with your local department of energy for their specific recommendations for your area and style of home.
Insulate your water heater. Wrap your water heater with insulation or a water heater blanket. This is a quick and simple task that will start saving you money throughout the year.
Seal any leaks around your windows and doors. Windows and doors can be a common spot for unwanted air exchanges to occur. If you can feel the cold air coming in around either of them, then they are demanding your attention. Here are a few things you can do to stop this air exchange:
Replace or repair any damaged or missing weather stripping.
Caulk any visible cracks in the unit or around it in the frame or trim
Tighten any screws in hinges or hardware that have loosened up
Use expanding foam in any holes or visible large cracks
Replace your windows or doors. If your windows and doors are beyond repairing, then you should consider replacing them. New replacement vinyl windows will be more energy efficient as well as update the style of your home. Swapping out your old entrance doors for new door units will make these areas a beautiful new shield against the cold air. Doors and windows are a crucial and beautiful part of your home. Unfortunately, if they are not weather tight then they are a huge factor in your heat loss.
Before the bitter cold hits, get your home prepared. Utilize these tips to get your home ready for the cold weather of winter. Don’t delay, winterize your home TODAY!