There’s a reason why you should winterize your home by performing basic home improvement projects. When you prepare your home for winter, you’re secure against potential damage that is likely to occur when the temperatures start freezing. Harsh winter months are not only tough to deal with, but they can also damage your home. Even in instances where there’s minimal risk to your home, you may not have the chance to perform your usual maintenance tasks. You may be spending most of your time at home, hiding from the cold. That’s because the cold winter months are typically not conducive to certain home improvement projects. For instance, imagine trying to repair a snow-covered roof. Read on to find basic home improvement projects to prepare your home for winter.
Get Roof Repairs
Your roof is the first line of defense against harsh weather elements, so it makes sense to have it in the best condition by the time winter rolls around. As far as basic home improvement projects go, repairing your roof should be top of the list if you want to winterize your home properly. The first step is to start hiring a roofer who can perform a roofing inspection. The purpose of this inspection is to check for any potential problems that might worsen. For instance, a professional roofing company will know to assess your roof’s framework to ensure the structural integrity of your roof is still robust in case of winter storms. They will check for leaks to help you avoid expensive water damage.
The area along the flashing and the valley of your roof are particularly susceptible to leaks, so these need to be checked out and sealed to avoid further damage. There may also be a need to apply sealant and caulk to the base of other features of your roof to protect it in case the existing sealant has been worn out. If you have asphalt shingles, damaged or missing shingles need to be replaced so that your roof can adequately protect against water intrusion. Even when your roof seems to be in the best condition, it accumulates debris over time. This debris needs to be cleaned before winter to avoid burdening your roof and accelerating wear and tear. Overall, a roof inspection and repairs before winter arrive mean you’ll be better prepared once the rough weather arrives.
Have Your Gutters Cleaned
When attending roof repairs, you shouldn’t also neglect to clean your gutters as well. Gutter cleaning often gets overlooked, but this can be disastrous if your clogged gutters result in water damage. Therefore, you need to deep clean your gutters ahead of any expected winter storms. You may be surprised at how much debris your gutters can accumulate over time. When cleaning your gutters, grab a sturdy ladder and start clearing your gutter of leaves and other debris. The best way to clear the gunk collected in your gutters is using a small plastic scoop or something similar. Once you have scooped out everything that you can, you can then bring out a hose to finish the job.
This will ensure that all the remaining debris inside your gutters and downspouts is flushed out. Doing this will protect your landscaping, siding, and foundation from runoff that could potentially damage these structures. Clean gutters can also help you avoid ice dams during winter. Cleaning your gutters is one of those basic home improvement projects you should invest time in, especially if you have overhanging trees that can accelerate the rate at which debris accumulates inside your gutters. If you have time, you can use warm, soapy water to effectively clean your gutters. While at it, take the time to inspect your gutters to check for any damage like cracks, leaks, and loose screws that need to be fixed.
Service Your Furnace
Another basic home improvement project that’s worth taking care of when winter and cold weather are just around the corner is having your furnace serviced. It’s crucial to hire a reputable and experienced furnace service that knows how to keep your furnace running efficiently and smoothly throughout winter. The biggest advantage of doing this is that it can help lower your utility bills. When a professional is performing furnace maintenance, they will tighten electrical connections, replace faulty components, lubricate moving parts, and make various adjustments and calibrations, all aimed at ensuring the full functionality of your furnace.
When your furnace is operating at peak efficiency, it tends to consume less electricity, which helps you lower utility bills and save money in the long run. Proper furnace maintenance is also key to extending the life of your equipment. It prevents major repairs and slows down wear and tear so your furnace can effectively service your home for many winters to come. Additionally, seasonal furnace inspection ensures that all safety features are in place to keep your home and family protected. That means you can heat your home with more peace of mind while enjoying your furnace’s improved capacity to meet your home’s heating demands.
Clean Your Chimney
Consider adding chimney cleaning to your basic home improvement checklist ahead of winter. Your chimney is another important component of your home that works hard to ensure you have a warm and comfortable environment throughout the colder seasons. If you’re going to rely on your chimney a lot, it’s a good idea to invest in its upkeep. There are several reasons why it’s important to clean your chimney before winter. The most important reason is that it keeps you and your family safe by preventing carbon monoxide poisoning. If your chimney gets clogged, it blocks proper airflow, and the lack of oxygen leads to a build-up of poisonous carbon monoxide.
Additionally, a clogged chimney can be a fire hazard where wood-burning fireplaces are concerned. Over time, a substance called creosote builds up in your chimney, and it should be cleaned as regularly as possible because this substance is highly flammable. Another motivation for getting your chimney cleaned is to ensure better heating efficiency. If your chimney is clean enough, burning wood becomes more efficient because of improved airflow, so it’s easier to warm up your home. It also ensures that smoke flows in the right direction instead of infiltrating your home. When looking for professionals to take care of your chimney, be sure to only consider the best chimney repair companies that use premium chimney materials and deliver high-quality results.
Clean up Your Property
There are also basic home improvement tips you can apply to prepare your home for winter. Without these improvements, your landscape could also suffer from damage. For instance, if you have a thriving lawn, failure to winterize can wreak havoc on the health of your turf. You need to aerate your turf to ensure that the roots still have access to water, oxygen, and fertilizer to nourish it. That means when you fertilize your lawn, you can be sure that it’s receiving all the nutrients it needs to maintain root growth so it can survive through harsh temperatures. Besides tending to your lawn, it’s best to do a general cleanup of your yard.
Start by getting rid of any dead or dying foliage on your property. If you have a dead tree on your property, it’s better to hire a professional tree removal service to reduce the risk of it coming down during a winter storm. Remove fallen leaves from your property, as they can trap a lot of dampness. Other things you can do to winterize your landscape include laying mulch to protect your trees and plants from significantly lower temperatures. You can also winterize your pool or irrigation system depending on how your landscape is set up. This will keep your property looking neat and tidy throughout the winter season.
Clean up Your Home
When the weather is cold outside, this is a time when most people prefer to spend more time indoors where it’s warmer. In that case, keeping your home clean is a simple and basic home improvement that ensures you have a pleasant and enjoyable atmosphere throughout winter. To keep your home attractive and inviting, consider decluttering and deep cleaning. For starters, it provides healthy living space for you and your family. Remember, you may need to keep your windows and doors constantly closed to prevent heated air from escaping. In that case, having a cleaner home helps boost the quality of your indoor air. This will also reduce the burden on your furnace, preventing the filter from being clogged too quickly.
Cleaning up your home before winter can also help you feel happier on those dreary winter days that encourage gloomy thoughts. You can brighten up your space by getting rid of clutter, and this can have a positive impact on your mood. In addition, a deep clean that involves disinfection helps lower the number of germs and bacteria in your home. Be sure to have a checklist of tasks to do to get your home as clean as possible. The list can include dusting, disinfecting garbage cans, vacuuming under the beds, cleaning windows, and scrubbing your floors. If you have a lot of clutter to get rid of, consider hiring a small dumpster rental to keep things efficient.
Choose a Heating Oil Company
There are many benefits of using oil heating in your home. To begin with, oil heats your home more efficiently, so you’ll require less fuel, which lowers your heating costs. Therefore, you might consider searching for the best heater oil companies in your area. There are several factors to consider when choosing a heating oil company that’s best for your needs. Choose a heating oil company that offers reliable home delivery and the best quality customer service and support. The heating oil company should also have reasonable pricing and payment plans, a reliable supply, and other value-added services to meet your home’s heating needs.
Consider Replacing Your Windows
Replacing your windows helps to prevent air leaks and cold drafts, which can make it harder to keep your home. This basic home improvement helps increase the overall efficiency of your home, especially if you purchase double or triple-glazed windows with low emissivity. These energy-efficient windows help to prevent the escape of heated air from your home, thus reducing the burden on your furnace. When your furnace has less work to do, it uses less fuel or electricity, allowing you to reduce energy costs. Make sure you also hire a quality window installer for a proper installation that will make the most of your investment.
Have Your Septic Tank Pumped
If you have a septic system on your property and you haven’t had it pumped in the last three to five years, now might be the best time to get it done. According to Bob Vila, septic tank pumping is necessary every three to five years to prevent the sludge that accumulates inside the tank from overflowing. Once the tank overflows, this can lead to serious issues, such as unpleasant odors and the pooling of water in the area above your drain field. Hiring a septic tank pumping service just before winter may mean you get faster service instead of waiting for the warmer months, which is usually the busiest time for most professionals.
These basic home improvement projects will help set you up nicely for winter and help you avoid costly repairs. Projects that target the exterior of your home are especially important because this is the area of your home that’s at the mercy of harsh weather elements. Still, taking care of your home’s interior is also beneficial too, since it allows you to relax more during winter. You’ll have more peace of mind knowing you have done all you can to protect your home from winter damage and ensure a comfortable and clean environment. Basic home improvement projects like servicing your furnace and replacing your windows can also be key to reducing your heating costs. Start now to implement this home winterizing checklist to get your home ready for the cold season.