How To Prepare Your Home For Winter

How To Prepare Your Home For Winter

As the weather starts cooling down and we begin to approach winter, we should take certain steps to protect our homes from damage during a freeze. No one wants to have to deal with a frozen or burst pipe ruining their day—or their property. Luckily, there are steps that we can take to make sure that freezing temperatures have less of an effect on our homes. Read on for advice to help you prepare your home for winter.

Prepare Your Home For Winter From The Outside In

Clean out your gutters and point the downspouts so that water will flow away from the foundation of your home.

If you have tree branches hanging over your home, clear them away. If snow starts accumulating on them, the branches will become weighed down and heavy and can break off causing damage to your house.

Take Care of Your Windows

Check the weatherstripping around your windows and doors to make sure that it is secure because gaps around the frames will allow cold air to come inside. If needed, try applying self-sticking weatherstripping to make sure your windows are tightly sealed. Making sure there’s a close seal around all of your windows and doors is an important step to prepare your home for winter that will also help lower your energy bills.

Protect Your Pipes

No matter how new your home is, you’ll want to pay special attention to your water lines, especially those that are in your attic or in crawl spaces. Figure out which of your pipes could be exposed to freezing temperatures and give them an extra level of protection. You can opt to use heat tape that senses the temperature and turns on and off on its own or heat tape that needs to be plugged in. If you decide to go with the latter, plug in the heat tape and check whether or not it’s working. Heat tape can be dangerous, so be sure to read the instructions and follow all of the necessary safety precautions. If your crawl spaces have vents, close them up for the season to keep the drafts from chilling your pipes.

Use a Humidifier and Adjust It According to the Temperature

Choose humidifiers that auto-regulate to reset the level of humidity based on the temperature outside. This can help keep frost from forming since the humidity level will be lowered when it’s colder outside and returned to normal when the weather is better. A normal level of humidity is somewhere around 35% to 45%. When temperatures drop down to single digits, however, set your humidifiers to 20%.

Let Your Faucets Drip

When the temperatures plunge into freezing, prepare your home for winter by keeping a tiny bit of water dripping from your faucets. This keeps water flowing through your pipes, which will help relieve the pressure and keep them from freezing over.

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Cleaning Gutters Made Simple

Cleaning Gutters Made Simple

When the rain starts to pour, you want to know your roof’s gutters are in good shape and free of debris, especially in Autumn when leaves accumulate quickly. This time of year, it is nearly impossible to keep falling leaves out of your gutters, so it’s important to make sure they’re clear at the beginning of the season. Clogged gutters can result in a massive overflow of water spilling over and causing damage to the sides of your house, your foundation, and that garden you’ve put so much work into. Luckily, you only need to take a few steps towards cleaning gutters and, as a result, maintain your home and yard. Or you could always get a robot to do the dirty work for you.

Get Ready to Clean out the Goop

Put on a long-sleeved shirt and rubber gloves and get out the extendable ladder – it’s time for cleaning gutters! You may also want to wear a bandana or hat to help divert sweat from your eyes so that you’re not wiping your face with messy hands. Have a hose with a sprayer and a forked garden claw or trowel close-by—the latter will fit nicely into a belt loop so you don’t have to worry about holding a pointy pronged tool while climbing up and down a ladder. It’s a good idea to have a friend with you as well; he or she can hand you whatever you need and help with steadying the ladder and refilling cold beverages!

Grab the Ladder and Start Cleaning Gutters

Put your ladder at the end of your gutter and climb up until you’ve just about reached the top while your friend keeps you and the ladder stabilized. You’ll need to get high enough above your gutters to be able to look down and see into them clearly. If your gutters are older or if they show signs of having been weakened, place a piece of a 2×4 inside to help them bear your weight.

Pull out the goop and leaves with the garden claw or by hand. Instead of trying to fit all of the debris into a bag, lay a tarp out on your lawn first where you can toss the debris as you’re cleaning.

Cleaning Gutters and the Roof at Once

Use the hose to clean out the downspout. This would be a good time to rinse off your roof as well; not only will you be cleaning it off, you’ll be able to make sure that the excess water is flowing into your gutter and into the downspout as it should be. If the water isn’t moving properly, you’ve got more cleaning to do—or else you need to check the downspout for clogs, blockages, and signs of damage.

Tackle the next section of your gutter following the same directions until you’ve reached the downspout at the other end. If the water flows well, then you’re through with the job, at least until next time. Cleaning gutters is best done during Spring and Fall to help guard against the possibilities of improper drainage, overflow, and flooding.


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