Winterizing Your Home Before Winter’s Arrival

Winterizing Your Home Before Winter’s Arrival. Today’s guest blog is by Clara Beaufort of Gardener Gigs. The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Gainesville Restoration and Remodeling.

Winterizing Your Home Before Winter’s Arrival

Winterizing Your Home Before Winter’s Arrival

You might be feeling a chill in the air this month. This is the time of year to winterize your house against the upcoming cold winter months. Here are some tips for doing just that.

Consider your storage needs

Do you have a place to properly store your outdoor equipment? If not, you may want to buy a small building for the backyard. That way, your items will be kept secure and protected from the elements. There are many types of building materials to choose from, but wood and steel are most commonly used. Steel is stronger than wood and can withstand high winds and snowfalls, while wood is more visually pleasing. Consider the pros and cons of each material before proceeding to buy the storage building.

Focus on fire safety

Most fire departments agree that you should change the batteries on your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors once a year, and a good time to do that is when you set your clocks back.

If any of your smoke detectors are close to ten years old, replace them with a new, ten-year detector with a sealed battery. You don’t need to replace the batteries on these new detectors.

Experts now say you should put the smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in every significant living space of your home, including the kitchen, den, living room, and bedrooms. You can put the old detectors in household trash without guilt. Just remove the batteries first and bag them before tossing them.

Don’t have a carbon monoxide detector? Check with your local fire department. Sometimes fire stations give them away.

Other fire hazards are dirty filters and poorly vented appliances. Make sure your HVAC filters are being changed every 30 days and that your dryer filter is being cleaned after every laundry load. Set your family up on a schedule to check that these important chores are being done.

Poorly vented clothes dryers are also fire hazards. Check your dryer vent to make sure that it vents outside directly, without no kinks in the air hose. It should NOT be venting into the basement or attic. That’s a fire waiting to happen.

Keep pipes unfrozen

One thing all home improvement experts agree on is that you should not let your pipes freeze. Frozen pipes are basically a game of Russian roulette. They might thaw with no harm done, or they might burst and cost $20,000 in damages.

There are a lot of different opinions about how you should protect your pipes. Some people think you should use heating tape. Others think you should protect your pipes with spray foam. Another idea is to use a material called Armaflex which also insulates.

Consider your lifestyle and pick your insulation. If you are likely to travel at Christmas and cut off the electricity, you need pipe insulation that does not require electricity. And don’t forget to drip your faucets.

Examine your roof

This is also a good time to examine your roof. You really don’t want to be doing that when temperatures are freezing or sweltering. If you have balance issues or are afraid of heights, you will need to hire someone to do a full roof inspection.

If you are fearless on a ladder, you can do it yourself. You will need to visually inspect all areas of the roof on the outside. Any warped, curled, or missing shingles need to be replaced. Check the mortar around the chimney to make sure it’s intact.

Then go up in the attic and look for any mold or moisture seepage. If you have water damage in your attic, it’s time for a new roof. Tip: Most roofing professionals will not remind you that you can lay one roof over another until you have three roofs. So you can save money by re-roofing over your current roof.

When it comes to home maintenance, fall is the right time to do outdoor work and energy improvement projects on your home. Get these simple chores done so you can enjoy the beautiful fall season.

Winterizing Your Home Before Winter’s Arrival