Home and Family

How to Make Your Family Home Winter-Ready

With fall in full swing, you may be having a slight premonition that it’s time for you to make your home winter-ready. It can seem overwhelming to know where to start. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to your house. Here are a few things you should know to get you started and make sure you’re prepared.

Insulate Your Attic

Make sure your attic is well-insulated so you don’t have heat loss. It may have been hard to notice whether your insulation was functioning well enough in the summer to keep your house cool. You could turn on more fans, right?

When the weather gets colder, it’s important to ensure that your insulation is working. Checking your attic’s insulation is important because heat rises and tends to exit through your roof. Adding insulation to this part of the house could make a big difference in ensuring that your house stays warm and your utility bills stay low.

Seal Doors and Windows

To prevent drafts, seal your doors and windows. Windows and doors tend to be the likeliest culprits for letting cold air into your house. For this reason, it’s especially important that you seal these openings.

There are a variety of ways to weather-strip your windows and doors, but the best way is to use adhesive-backed foam tape. You can buy this tape at most hardware stores. To install the tape, you’ll want to first clean the area around the window or door where you are going to install the tape. Then peel off the backing, cut to the desired length, and adhere!

Clean Your Fireplace

Clean your fireplace and make sure it’s in its best working condition. This is especially important if you have a wood-burning fireplace. With an active fireplace, it’s important to keep an eye out for debris or animals inside the chimney. Cleaning these things out before winter comes is especially important. This ensures that smoke or sparks don’t blow into your home because they can’t exit through the chimney.

Besides cleaning your fireplace, you may consider adding certain upgrades. A glass door can lead to a more efficient fireplace. Like an open window, an open chimney shaft can allow drafts of cold air to enter your home. Having a glass door acts like a window in preventing those cold gusts.

Fix Any Roof Damage

Fall is often the best time to repair your roof. Why? Because you can address any issues you noticed during the summer and you can also prepare the roof for winter. It’s important to fix any damage so that you can prevent leaks.

While you’re up there, you should also consider cleaning out the gutter. Cleaning out the gutters can go a long way in ensuring that snow melt comes off your roof without damaging the roof or walls.

Insulate Pipes

As you inspect your pipes, be aware of any pipes that may be more exposed than others—such as those in a crawl space or garage. Once you’ve found pipes that could be exposed to lower temperatures, you’ll want to insulate them.

There are a variety of methods to insulate your pipes. But often, the best way is to wrap them with insulating material. You can buy heat tape or other forms of insulating material at most hardware stores. And typically, this material is relatively inexpensive.

Winterize Outdoor Faucets

Besides insulating your pipes, you should also pay special attention to your outdoor faucets. Outdoor faucets are even more prone to freezing and bursting because they often don’t have quite the same insulation that your interior pipes do.

You’ll want to start by disconnecting any hoses and then by letting water drain out of the drain. There are a few other steps to be aware of depending on the type of faucet you have. Be sure to look up other pertinent steps to ensure that your outdoor faucet won’t freeze over.

Store or Winterize Outdoor Furniture

It’s also important to spend some time inspecting furniture, winterizing it, or putting it into storage. Too often, a good grill has been left on the patio only to rust during the snowy months. And once snow comes along, it becomes much more difficult to move anything left outside into a safe indoor space.

Spend time inspecting each piece of furniture and outdoor equipment to decide the best way to winterize it. Some pieces of furniture are built to handle cold temperatures and will be fine if only covered. Other pieces of furniture could rust if they come in contact with any water over an extended period of time. To protect them you may need to store them in the garage.

Inspect Your Winter Tools

Inspecting your winter tools and equipment may not seem to be the most obvious step to take when preparing your home for winter. In fact, it actually is quite an important one. Be sure to take a good look at equipment like your snow blower.

Making sure that it is functioning will save you a lot of hassle when snow falls and it could also save you money. If you need to repair or replace it, it’s much more cost-efficient to do so before the bad weather hits. Then the demand skyrockets and so do the prices.

You may also consider inspecting snow shovels for cracks and space heaters for any malfunctions. Doing this will ensure you have functioning tools to both take care of your home when snow comes. It will also ensure you can maintain your comfort inside your home.

Winter is around the corner. You have that foreboding feeling that pretty soon, snow and freezing temperatures will arrive. It may seem sobering to realize you need to winterize your home. Realizing all the things you have to do to prepare your home can be overwhelming. Thankfully, starting with these suggestions can help you get your home to where it needs to be before winter sets in.

Read this next: Home Repairs to Make to Reduce Cold Weather Damage

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