It's that Time... Winterizing Your Home
Fall is the perfect time to winterize and prepare for the season ahead. You might want to look at getting this preparation started sooner than later as it looks like we might be dipping into some freezing temperatures later this week. Below is a list of 10 tips to help you winterize your home.
1. Fill all of the voids on the outside of your home. To help keep cold air out, find any gaps or voids on the outside of your house and fill them with properly rated expansion foam.
2. Insulate all of your hose spigots. Be sure to remove any connected hoses from the spigots and drain completely of water. It's important to insulate your spigots with some type of spigot cover that you can find at your local hardware store.
3. Insulate water lines. Many homes have water lines that run in uninsulated areas like crawl spaces beneath the home or in attics. Even though these pipes aren't out directly in the weather, they are definitely still affected by outside temperatures. As water freezes inside a pipe, it expands, potentially causing damage to the pipe, which could lead to some serious water damage inside your home. To prevent, even the potential of this happening, wrap all of your uninsulated water pipes in properly rated foam insulation.
4. Clean your deck. Throughout the year, mold and mildew tend to buildup on deck surfaces which can lead to wood rot. Routine cleaning and the use of a proper sealer can help extend the life of your deck. However, the removal of the mold and mildew isn't just to protect your deck surface, it's also to protect you and your family. Surfaces covered in mold and mildew are slippery by themselves, but with the addition of cold weather, these surfaces can be really dangerous. Save yourself a trip to the ER and keep it clean!
5. Check and/or replace weather stripping around sliding glass doors. The weather stripping that surrounds sliding doors tends to wear out overtime. Replacement weather stripping comes with an adhesive strip on one side, all you have to do is remove the old and set the new!
6. Seal any gaps or voids around windows and doors. A great "hack" to check the areas surrounding your windows and doors is to use an incense stick. The small amount of smoke produced will help show you where your drafts are making their way through! Caulk those deficient areas with the proper product.
7. Switch the direction of your ceiling fans. That's right, fans aren't just for the warmer seasons! During cooler seasons fans should be set to have a clockwise rotation as to help move the heated air that rises back down into your living space.
8. Inspect wood burning fireplace, chimney, and flue. Largely ignored in warm weather, a wood-burning fireplace and chimney can be a major source of cold air leaks and other issues in winter. Clear any obstructions in the chimney of any nests from small animals. Check the damper and make sure it opens and closes fully, and can be locked in either position. And lastly, inspect the firebrick in the fireplace. If you see any open mortar joints, have them repaired immediately. A fire can spread into the stud wall behind the masonry firebrick through open mortar joints.
9. Test and replace any faulty smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
10. Give yourself a pat on the back for being prepared for the upcoming season. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a nice cup of hot chocolate while enjoying your roaring fire.