The days became shorter, and the temperatures dropped–winter was coming! Are you ready for the thick coats and boots days? You may not be putting winterizing your home at the top of your to-do list at the moment. As a matter of fact, the majority would rather be enjoying the fall foliage, apple picking, or sipping pumpkin-spiced lattes rather than preparing homes for winter during extra time. But let’s face it: if you want your house to be ready for the winter, you can’t put it off any longer.
If you neglect to prepare your home for the cold weather, ice, and snow, be ready to face some repairs as these things can damage your home. You, yourself, might be prepared for the weather, but how about your home? Preparing your house for winter isn’t as simple as putting a turtleneck sweater on you! There are lots of organizing to do.
If you want to know more, see this checklist below!
Home heating and airconditioning system
Make sure to go through your heating and air conditioning systems. Most heating and air conditioning systems endure between 12 and 15 years on average–proper maintenance is one of the most essential reasons your system lasts longer or shorter. At the very least, change your filters before the weather gets colder. It would be best to hire a professional HVAC contractor to inspect the system.
Consider a yearly maintenance contract instead. Please consult with a professional to ensure that your heating system is ready to go when you need it. If you notice that your heating system is in need of replacement, you can easily install a new heating system immediately. It’s best to discover a problem with your heating and cooling system in the fall rather than in the middle of a freezing winter.
Drainage issues can arise as soon as snow and ice build-up. Make sure that the ground around your foundation hasn’t shifted, allowing water to accumulate around your foundation. Fill up any low spots you see with soil. Inspect the rain gutter downspouts after that. Take care to ensure that water is being drained away from the residence. If necessary, use downspout extenders. The soil around a foundation that is saturated with water might pose a serious threat during the winter months.
Keeping the roof runoff away from your home base will help preserve its structural integrity. This is also an excellent strategy to keep water from seeping into your basement and forming a puddle.
Paint, seal exterior wood and caulk.
Your home’s outside wood trim must be protected from the weather. Exterior doors and windows are generally one-inch thick pine boards that decay quickly if not covered. While pressure-treated or otherwise resistant to rot, the wood used for your deck is not. Many of the bay windows and outside doors have rotted wood on the outside. Moreover, some people think it’s wise to repaint your house with new exterior paint as it will shield your home from excess moisture during winter.
During the cold and rainy seasons, your gutters are one of the most essential parts of your property because they drain water from your roof and release it into a safe region. Depending on the number of trees in your yard, you should clean out your gutters and downspouts on a regular basis. Emptying them, however, is a critical first step in winterizing your house before its arrival. Leaf guards can help keep your gutters cleaner for longer if they tend to accumulate trash quickly. This list should help you with your winter preparation:
- Check seams and anchors
- Check for any structural damage
- Clean out debris in the gutters
Chimneys and fireplaces are among the best house features you should have during winter. It will help you get through the cold. Fireplaces are made to keep you warm, but the cold weather can negatively affect your chimney. Clean and examine your fireplace before you start making those pleasant fires in the coming few months. In addition to ensuring that the fireplace is safe to use, a skilled chimney sweep firm can also uncover any maintenance issues. Here’s a list of what you should do:
- Check the vents. As any carbon monoxide accumulation can be dangerous.
- Check if there are animals. Raccoons and squirrels often use chimneys as their home during winter. It would be best to ask a professional to remove them safely.
- Check for masonry damages. Masonry, the chimney crown, and the chimney liner can all be damaged by moisture, which can go undetected for a long period of time.
- Check for water damage. Once water gets trapped inside, moisture will freeze and expand, damaging your chimney.
Masonry and other hard surfaces
Figure out whether your masonry and other hard surfaces are in need of repair. For example, if you discover a leaky basement or water damage, you will want to contact basement waterproofing companies as soon as possible to ensure minimal damage to your basement. Work on masonry requires additional care when the temperature drops below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Mortar behaves differently in cold weather, leading to cracking and other issues. Cold temperature reduces the hydration of mortar. When the water in the mortar freezes, it causes a detrimental change in volume, resulting in mortar expansion. If the mortar contains more than 6% water, the expansion due to freezing will be sufficient to shatter the mortar. Thus, if you have a brick house, make sure to check it before the temperature starts to drop. If you notice some mortar joint damages, it would be best to hire a professional to do the tuckpointing.
Tuckpointing is the practice of repairing mortar joints in brick. The term “tuck pointer” refers to the action of tucking or packing mortar into a broken joint with a tool called a tuck pointer. Mortar joints are essential to the structural stability of a brick wall. Make sure to check the best and most trusted masonry tuckpointing in Washington DC, if you are in the area. Paragon Remodeling is everyone’s go-to contractor in the state due to its high-quality workmanship, extensive training and experience, and especially its satisfying customer service.
Take care of your patio. The same rules apply if you’ve got a concrete driveway or walkway. To keep your outside concrete surfaces looking their best, apply a sealant to them at least once every few months. Cracks are inevitable in every concrete flatwork. Control joints are carefully placed in your concrete by skilled masons to limit cracking. Before applying a sealer, thoroughly inspect your concrete and repair any cracks you find to ensure that water cannot seep in and freeze. There are many ways you may extend the life of your pricey concrete.