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Tips for Helping Your Home Stand Up to Winter
Winter is a hard season to forecast. Will it be milder or more severe than usual? Will it bring mountains of snow or barely a dusting? Will it yield to an early spring or keep its icy grip for as long as possible? While nobody knows the answers to those questions, one thing is for sure: a little prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to winterizing your residence. So let’s look at ways to winterize your home that won’t break your back or your bank account.
Prepping Your Fireplace and Chimney
Here are some ways to make sure your hearth fires glow safely all winter long:
- Install a screen or cap to keep out varmints like squirrels, chipmunks, bats, and stray birds.
- Have a chimney sweep clean the insides to remove built-up creosote. Failing to do so can lead to chimney fires, according to The Family Handyman.
- Lay in a fresh supply of firewood, either by buying it or chopping it yourself. Remember that freshly cut wood needs to season for at least six months, according to Mother Earth News.
- Make sure the flue opens and closes easily.
Sealing Your Driveway and Decks
The best time to tend to these chores is before winter sets in. However, you can also perform them during the winter if you get a stretch of mild weather for a few days:
- Sweep your asphalt driveway with a push broom to remove dirt and debris. Fill cracks and potholes and let the filler dry before applying the sealant. Use two or more thin layers to ensure best results.
- Sweep your decks, scrub them with water and a little general purpose detergent, and then apply a name-brand sealing compound to protect the wood from winter’s ravages.
Insulate Your Attic Door and Steps
Most homeowners know the critical importance of insulating the attic. But did you know insulating the swing-down door is just as important? This step alone can save your big bucks on your heating bills. It can also reduce your cooling costs come summer.
Take a Stroll Around the Perimeter
One night, when the mercury dips low, walk around your home’s interior and feel for drafts along windows and doorways. If you feel cold air rushing in, then you need to plug the gaps as soon as possible. Foam spray is a beginner-friendly product that can do the job for minimal cost.
Mulching Your Garden and Flower Beds
You want to make sure you protect your garden, plants, and flowers from the cold. Add several layers of mulch to these areas to protect roots and seeds from extreme temperatures.
Miscellaneous Home-Winterization Tips
Some other ways to safeguard your home and your family from winter’s assault include:
- Using a cover to keep debris out of your swimming pool during the cold weather. You can find these online or at pool supply stores. For instance, In The Swim offers a large variety of pool covers
- Trimming or removing tree limbs that could come crashing to the ground should they become encased in ice.
- Keeping emergency supplies on hand like extra firewood, fuel for your generator, rock salt or another anti-freezing compound, canned foods, a weather radio, and extra blankets or sleeping bags.
- Making sure your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and function as expected. Most of these products have a test mode you can activate by following directions in the owner’s manual.
- Replacing unvented gas space heaters with either vented or electric units.
- Replacing your furnace filters on a regular basis.
- Cleaning your gutters and downspouts.
- Turning off the water supply to your outdoor spigots and storing garden hoses inside.
Following the tips in this post will help protect your home from the chilly weather so you can embrace the spring warmth when it arrives in a few months. Use these tips with that end in mind and then relax and reward yourself with a hot cup of cocoa. We wish you all the best throughout 2018 and beyond.