Autumn is a special time of year when homeowners begin battening down the hatches to secure their properties for the eventual snow, ice, and blustery winds of winter.
When a structure hasn’t been well prepped it translates into financial loss as these elements can do serious damage to a house or at the very least cause it to function less efficiently.
Now, before you start worrying about the seemingly daunting task of taking care of these responsibilities know it usually takes more effort than technical know-how to do a thorough check. The simple question is: what’s included in the preparation process?
As the leaves begin to change and the focus of life turns back indoors here are a few frugal minded DIY tips for winterizing the home this fall:
1. Seal windows and doors: Over the course of the year windows and doors are constantly being forced open and slammed shut, two actions that can easily cause misalignment. That’s when cracks develop and unwanted drafts appear creating added stress on heating and air conditioning systems. Making sure the areas surrounding windows and doors are sealed well will make a big difference to indoor temperatures this winter and help stabilize some of the bills.
2. Wash down windows: Dust likes to settle everywhere including both sides of a window’s pane of glass. Although it may take a while before our eyes begin to notice that dust eventually blocks important rays of sunlight, which act as a natural source of heat for work and living spaces. Washing down windows at the start of winter and a couple of times over the course of the cool season will help better take advantage of the rays.
3. Inspect the gutters: It’s extremely important gutters and drainpipes are clear of debris since clogged ones don’t do their job: directing water away from the structure of the home. Dysfunctional gutters can be a serious problem because as they overflow water can seep into roof cracks, drip down damaging siding, or leak into windows. Just remember to always be careful when stepping on a ladder.
4. Inspect the attic: Though the roof itself needs to be examined to make sure shingles are in good condition if you can’t get up there on your own the next best thing is to inspect the attic. Homeowners don’t access attics often but if there was ever a time during the year to check up on things it’s now. Furthermore, one of the main points of concern is looking for discoloration from leaks because they can quickly develop into larger problems when not tended to. A second is checking that the seal around the attic entrance is firm and not allowing drafts to penetrate the homes.
5. Yard clean-up: You may think this can wait till the spring but consider a few things:
- The dry vegetation: If gathered now it can be used for compost and made into mulch for next season.
- Yard tools: In order to preserve them make sure they get returned to the garage or basement and don’t forget the hose, which should be disconnected from the faucet, rolled up and placed indoors.
- Loose debris: It’s always good to make sure lose items don’t litter the yard since it can be a hazard during stormy weather.
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