With Autumn in full effect and winter around the corner, if you haven’t done so already, it’s high time to begin preparing your house for more of bitter mornings and icy cold nights that lay ahead.
Similarly to a car, a house needs an annual routine tune up: For example, chimneys need to be swept, heating systems have to be maintained and windows need to be caulked. However, if you neglect the chores that need to be done, you might find yourself looking at one massive repair bill or a furnace that gives up on itself on a frigid February night. So forgetting to clean out the gutters may lead to ice building up which in turn may damage the rooftop or having any windows and doors left unsealed, allowing draft to come in may just send your heating bill sky high.
These things might feel like an absolute drag to do, however, in order to help you, we have helped prepare a top 4 homeowners winter checklist for you to follow, in addition to some great must-know cold weather tips for your home.
#1 Checking the Exterior
Begin your annual checkup by walking around the perimeter of your property and keeping an eye out for any cracks or peeling paint. See for yourself if the roof has any missing or broken tiles, if the windowsills are still in adequate condition and be sure to fix these issues while the weather is treating you well. After heavy rain, stroll around your property and search for any signs that your drainage system might not be working property i.e. damaged gutters or water pools.
There’s no denying maintaining your house to a good standard can cost you a fair amount. For some people it’s just not a great idea financially to put aside money for repairs because they cannot afford it or for other reasons like they are selling up.
Did you know there are genuine house buying companies out there that pride themselves in saying “we buy any house in any condition and location?”
If you cannot afford to fix up your house and are looking to sell, it may be an option worth pursing.
#2 Prepare the Plumbing
Be sure to remember to drain water from your garden hoses and any outdoor faucets and store your garden hoses inside. In addition, if you have any in-ground sprinkler pipes, arrange for them to get blown out and take note of any problematic pipes that may be prone to freezing inside the house and try using a heat tape to keep them warm when the weather turns chilly. If the worst does happen, educate everybody living in the property to know how to turn off the water at the source. This is important as it will help to reduce leaking if a pipe does end up bursting.
#3 Heating Things Up
Nobody likes to spend their days and nights feeling cold to the bones in their own homes. Hence remember to keep your fireplace well stocked for some warm, cozy evenings in front of a beautiful crackling fire. In addition, bear in mind that you should have your chimney checked and cleaned out by a professional and have someone to come in to perform a routine check of your property’s heating systems so that if you need to vacuum the vents or replace any of the filters, this will all be done before the first frost comes to bite. If you want to be more conservative of our energy use, try to install a setback thermostat that keeps your home cooler when you are sleeping or out of the house.
Taking that a step further, you can also get your home insulated. Not only will this save you money on energy bills but it can potentially increase your properties resale value, especially to those home buyers who are looking to be more energy efficient & environmentally friendly.
This may give you some peace of mind if you’re looking to sell your house at some point because even with falling house prices, if you take care of your home & equip it with some bonus features such as home insulation, you can remain confident and think to your self most homeowners are likely to buy my house at market value anyway.
#4 Seal the Leaks
To minimize the draftiness of your home this winter, if you have any storm windows and doors on hand, try to install them everywhere you can, including the basement. By adding or replacing any worn out weather strippings found around windows and doors and caulking any gaps seen will help to minimize any frosty winds from seeping into your home. In addition if there are any ducts or pipes which travel through an exterior wall, remember to caulk them and weather strip them around all the entry points. These things will help and block any possible entry points for icy cold drafts from coming in.
Hopefully with these 4 easy tips you will be able to bite the icy cold weather right back. You might even miss doing all these chores once they’re all over. However, have no fear, soon enough, it will be time for the annual spring cleanup!