Winter-proofing our house will not only protect us from the elements. It can also reduce energy costs associated with heating. Here are things we should do to properly winterize our home:
1. Check the roof:
The weight of the snow on the roof can be significant and may progressively weaken our roofing structure. We should make sure that the roof won’t crumble this winter. It is also important to look for signs of leakage. Water may seep during winter causing growth of mold and mildew. During fall, we should check the roof for leaks and weak spots. It is a good idea to make small repairs during the winter to prevent additional damages to our home.
2. Inspect the wall and bricks:
Water can freeze inside small cracks in the brick wall and expand. This will gradually increase wall damages and we should look for damages caused by previous winter. It is important to check for any crack and seal it to prevent the damage from spreading.
3. Check the gutters:
During the winter, it is important to make sure that we can efficiently drain away melting snow. By checking the gutters, we can make sure that the interior of the house will be protected from water damage. Inspect any sign of damage and make repair as needed. It is also a good idea to install gutter guards to deal with any debris. Leaves can pile up very quickly during the fall and it is necessary to make sure that the gutter is clean just before the first snow falls. This could mean daily cleaning weeks before winter arrives.
4. Trim your trees:
Winter, ice and snow can do massive damages to some trees. The formation of ice inside the branches and the weight of snow can cause damages to our cars and roof. We should trim weaker branches to limit damages to our houses and driveway. This won’t only protect our house, but could also keep our trees stronger and they will bloom back during the spring.
5. Repair handrails:
The short distance in the slippery walkways can be particularly perilous. We should repair any kind of damage to the steps and handrails. Slippery surface can cause injuries, so make sure that handrails can support the weight of our body, since we will need to hold them tighter.
6. Seal openings and cracks:
Openings and cracks should be properly sealed to prevent moisture from seeping in. Drafts can be a problem is the opening is large enough. Foundations can be damaged is water freezes inside the gaps. Bugs and rodents could also look for warmers places during the winter, so it is important to seal any large crack. Inspecting our house for cracks can be difficult and some of them could be found only after the winter arrives.
For quick sealing, we could use foam or caulk sealants. Windows and doors should also be inspected and they must be properly insulated against wind and water. We could use flashlight at night to detect cracks and openings easily.
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