Winter weather is one of the most dreaded things in the calendar year. At best, you can expect temperatures to reach freezing lows, keeping everyone off the streets and forcing you to spend an inordinate amount of time indoors. In extreme situations, storms and snowy conditions can combine to make nights long and sometimes, uncomfortable.
Every area is different, but one thing remains the same: Winter weather can be damaging on your home. Properly preparing your home helps you to get through the harshest of winter temperatures. Below, we roundup several home improvements to warm things up for an enjoyable winter season.
Clean the Gutters
If, like many homeowners, you only clean your gutters after the heavy winter season, it’s likely that leaves and grime from the spring, summer, and fall seasons have built up there. You don’t want to take that into winter. Clogged gutters and drains create dams that can prevent ice from sliding off the roof. Ice dams, in turn, can lead to leaks, water damage, and all kinds of energy issues. Cleaning the gutters and drains now would save you from expensive repairs down the line.
Check the Roof Too
Just as with the gutters, the roof might harbor leaves and debris that might impede movement of ice and running water. Or, worse, there could be issues such as missing or damaged shingles. During winter, these can cause ice dams and water pooling, or even result in leaks and water damage. Find a home improvements expert to help you fix these issues before it’s too late.
Install Extra Lighting
Fall and winter months are known for reduced lighting. You don’t want this to significantly affect your day to day operations. To this end, take this time to install additional exterior lights. Since outdoor lights are typically left on for long periods of time, it would be wise to buy the highly efficient Energy Star rated varieties. Another thing to keep in mind when buying outdoor lights is extreme weather. You need CFL or LED flood lights that can withstand snow, rains, and storms.
Seal the Windows and Doors
Actually, begin by assessing the condition of the doors and windows. Can they withstand the potentially hazardous weather? Can your doors withstand heavy storms? What about the windows? If you doubt it, consider reinforcing weak doors and windows. You can also install storm doors. Additionally, check around to ensure that there are no spaces for warm indoor air to escape. Caulking and weather stripping the doors and windows as necessary can help block any spaces. If you’re planning a home renovation such as a kitchen remodel or home addition, consider replacing old windows as part of your plan.
Insulate Exposed Plumbing Pipes
Water expands when it freezes. This expansion can mean a significant increase in volume. You don’t want this to happen inside your pipes as it can result in bursts and potential water damage. To prevent this, ensure that all exposed plumbing pipes are properly insulated. On the same note, drain all exterior pipes, turn off the main valve, and turn off the sprinkler system until the warmer months.
It’s important to fully prepare for the upcoming winter season. Sometimes this means simpler do it yourself projects, and sometimes getting your home ready requires a more extensive home renovation. If you need help, Alair Homes is here for you. Contact us today to learn more.