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Your winter home upgrade checklist

by Guest on Dec 21, 2020

The cold weather is here and that means your house is going to be working in overdrive to keep you and your family cozy. Keeping your home in shape is a year-round activity and certain home upgrades are a must for winter. As everyone spends more time at home, upgrading it is important now more than ever. Here are some DIY tips to get started on your winter home upgrade checklist. 

Pay attention to gutters and downspouts

At the top of your winter home maintenance list, you’ll want to add cleaning your gutters and downspouts. That’s because rain and melted snow combine with gutter debris creating standing water that can become trapped, which in colder climates can freeze and seep into your home’s eaves. Ice and frozen debris can then bend gutters so they don’t drain properly. This can still be a problem in places with milder winters, as gutter debris can lead to expensive repairs. For example, if you have a flat roof, trapped water can cause sagging and rotting. Water that can’t drain properly also can breed mold and affect shingles and paint.  

Assess your green

Is your yard in good shape for hibernation mode? Have you trimmed back everything and prepared your walkways for ice? You don’t have to spend a fortune on your yard, now is the time for upkeep, so it’s ready when spring is finally here. You can start by clearing out leaves and debris from your lawn, decks, and flower bed. Ideal tools to have on hand are long garden gloves, a cordless leaf blower, compost bags, and a large hand rake. Maintaining trees and bushes also helps minimize storm and water damage. For example, by trimming back shrubs a safe distance from your siding, more air can circulate so your exterior can dry from rain and melted snow and ice. Also be sure to trim tree branches away from all electrical wiring, for extra safety during stormy weather.

Weatherstrip door and window frames

Your home’s heating can’t do its job if your home is drafty. Reducing air leakage is a cost-effective way to make it more energy-efficient, saving you money and keeping your home warm. Caulking and weatherstripping are two simple and effective air-sealing techniques, with caulk generally used for cracks and openings around door and window frames, and weatherstripping used to seal doors and windows that open. Another reason to see if your home needs this upgrade is that water and moisture can seep into cracks in caulking, causing mold and rot. Buying an inexpensive tube of caulking, and spending a weekend on this renovation project could save you thousands of dollars on an expensive repair job for your home. 

Before you settle into the dormancy of winter, spending a couple of weekends on these renovation projects can help give you peace of mind that your home will be ready to handle the elements, keeping everyone comfortable as you wait out spring. 

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