Winter is almost here – are you ready?
On the East Coast, summer was hot, rainy and LONG. Fall arrived with a bang and before you know it, Thanksgiving will be here followed swiftly by the cold, winter months! It’s time to take advantage of the pleasant temperatures while you can and take care of the routine maintenance needed on your home. Our guest blogger, Suzie Wilson, provides insights into what you can do to prepare your home for the winter months now to save you countless dollars in the long run. You don’t need to go overboard – the process can be budget-friendly as well. Start by using our helpful list of inexpensive projects to decide what tools you need, and then look for discounts, flash deals and promo codes for home improvement stores like Lowes, The Home Depot and ACE.
Clean the Air Filter
The hot humid days of summer cause bacteria and mold to grow on your home’s air filters. If you have a permanent air filter, wash it and allow it to dry in the sunshine. Toss your disposable filters and buy some new ones at any store that sells these types of products, and be sure to look for discounts on sites like Honey.
Clean the House Gutters
Remove any debris clogging your house gutters. If you leave the gutters clogged with leaves and other debris, it can cause water damage to both the inside and outside of your home. Call a professional gutter cleaning service, or save some money and do it yourself (but be careful!).
Repair the Roof
A damaged roof can lead to some expensive water damage once it rains or snows. Save yourself a lot of heartache by repairing or replacing any loose or missing shingles. If your roof is in really bad shape, hire a contractor to replace the entire roof. This will be expensive, of course, but proactive fixes are far cheaper than repairing a collapsed roof following a snow storm. Save some money by searching for discounted contracting work – just be sure they come highly rated.
Disconnect your garden hoses from the outside faucets. If you leave them connected in the winter, water can back up inside the plumbing pipes and faucets. When the temperature plummets, the pipes will freeze and expand. This leads to cracked plumbing pipes or faucets. When this occurs, your house may experience costly water damage, so do your home a favor and disconnect that garden hose! A super easy fix is to buy these cheap water exterior water faucet covers. They are simple to install and only cost a few dollars. This simple tip can save you thousands of dollars (not to mention stress) if your pipes burst.
Call the HVAC Tech
Make sure your furnace is ready to face Old Man Winter by contacting an HVAC technician to give your heating and cooling system a tuneup. Many companies offer specials on sites like Groupon. You definitely don’t want your heating system to break down during the coldest night of the year. Because you know it will.
When it’s freezing outside, you want to keep the warm air in and the cold air out. You can accomplish this by installing weather stripping around doors and windows. Found at any local hardware store, they’re super quick to install and will help you remain warm and toasty when it’s cold outside.
Don’t Forget the Trees
Yes, we’re talking about home maintenance, but you don’t want to neglect tree maintenance! When the cold winds blow, not to mention when the snow falls, loose branches can fall and create a lot of damage to your property. It might not be just snow you have to worry about – ice brings down tree branches (especially ever greens) even more so than snow. It can even cause serious injury to anyone in the path of the falling branches. To prevent this from occurring, prune the loose branches from your trees. It just might save you a ton of money.
Repair Your Driveway
Summer humidity can cause cracks and holes in your driveway. Fall and winter weather will make it even worse. Before cold weather arrives, repair your driveway. Fill in any small cracks or holes with a bottle of crack sealer. For larger cracks and holes, use a driveway patch. After filling the holes, make sure you apply a sealant. Compare prices and shop for deals here.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
Right when summer is at an end is the perfect time to make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are in working order. Replace batteries regularly so you can keep your family safe during the winter months.
Don’t let winter arrive before you take care of some basic and inexpensive end-of-summer home maintenance. The preventative measures you take as summer wanes will help you save money and keep your home in excellent condition. When the days grow colder and the snow begins to fall, you’ll sleep easier knowing that your home is warm and and ready for almost anything winter throws its way.
If you’d like to learn more about what the Renovation Roadmap can do to help you in your remodel, we’re always happy to help!
About The Author
Suzie Wilson is an interior designer with more than 20 years experience. What started as a hobby (and often, a favor to friends) turned into a passion for creating soothing spaces in homes of every size and style. While her goal always includes making homes look beautiful, her true focus is on fashioning them into serene, stress-free environments that inspire tranquility in all who enter. The Ultimate Guide to Prepping Your Home for an Open House is filled with tips, tricks and other advice based on Suzie’s years of experience in interior home design that will set you up for success.