5 Cost-Effective Ways To Prepare Your Home for Winter
When you do some essential home maintenance or repairs before the winter chill sets in, you could avoid more serious remedial work. You can easily make some fixes that are available at a lower price than you can imagine. Check out these five cost-effective ways to prepare your home for winter so you will feel more comfortable.
1. Take a look at your windows
If your windows are already old and drafty, it will add more chill to your house, and you’ll spend your hard-earned money through the cracks each time you put your heat on. You don’t need to get new windows; there is a cheaper way by using plastic shrink wrap. Covering your windows in shrink wrap can make your home cozier and reduce heating costs. You will find many kits at hardware stores that make the process easy.
If you’re hoping to save on heating costs, don’t just think about the rooms you sit in. You need to winterize the windows of your house that are rarely used, such as the basement and spare rooms. When you’re thinking of the coming years, consider whether new doors and windows are in your budget. They can often increase the value of your home.
2. Shut down the pool and the sprinkler system and drain outside faucets
A cost-effective way to prepare your home for winter is to make sure your pool is properly shut down. Even if you think you can do it yourself for the rest of the year, it’s worth to get an expert to inspect and shut down the system during October. Pool contractors tend to get busy during the last month of fall. Most sprinkler systems need the lines to be blown out. So, it’s always a good idea to seek the service of a professional. A professional winterizing is way more economical than replacing a bunch of broken lines next spring.
You need to protect your outside water faucet from the elements. It will freeze over the winter, and it could split the water line well inside the home, flooding the basement. In less extreme cases, outdoor faucets develop bad leaks. You have to work on draining the line, or you can shut off the water valve to your outside spigot, then go outside and open the exterior spigot valve and let the water drain out of the line.
3. Paint, caulk and seal exterior wood
You need to protect from the elements all of the wood trim on the exterior of your home. The wood on your deck is typically a pressure-treated or rot-resistant species of timber. Still, the wood trim around your exterior doors and windows is just a one-inch-thick board that deteriorates quickly if not protected.
Replacing this trim can be expensive. Painting and caulking is the best thing to do, which is a job most people do if they stay on top of it.
Once the wood is rotted and requires replacement, then you’re probably going to need to hire a good trim carpenter to tackle the job. Workaround your home and make sure that none of the caulk is cracking, and your paint is not chipping and flaking away. If it is, scrape away the lousy paint or caulk and apply fresh.
4. Clear your gutters
Cleaning your gutters can help you avoid major issues during the cold season. You need to clean your gutters before the temperature drops so you can prevent ice dams, which form when melted snow pools and refreezes at roof edges and eaves. Those ice dams can cause leaky roofs. If you live somewhere without ice and snow, gutter maintenance is still essential. No matter what the season, leaves fill the gutter, and this can cause leaks that damage your home and lead to mold growth.
5. Protect your plumbing
Pipes and plumbing are vulnerable to cold temperatures, and fixing them can be costly. One way to avoid pipes freezing is to turn them off for the winter. It’s essential to shut down and drain all outdoor faucets and piping. If you have pipes that run through non-isolated areas, like the garage or basement, you may want to consider insulating them to avoid freezes during the winter months.
Preparing your home for winter can take much of your time and money, but when you do, these tips during the fall months could save you hundreds of dollars this winter.