Home for winter. Feel like winter is coming, and you know nothing about how to prepare for it except to hold the door tightly to stop the chill from slipping in, for the night is dark and full of snowy gales? Feel slightly put off by that clunky opening sentence, but secretly impressed I managed to shoehorn in so many Game of Throne references? As I hear the accidental muffled laugh of one reader mix with the sound of crickets chirping, there is a serious point lurking in those already outdated pop culture references. While commercials loudly proclaim that holidays are coming and images of presents and cozy fireplaces feel our thoughts, preparations need to be made. You must be ready. Only then can you enjoy the wonders of winter. Here is a nifty little guide on how to prepare your home for winter!
Heating Systems are a Go!
Once winter passes and the first warm rays of light start to bathe the world again, we seem to quickly forget how cold it was and what saw us through it all. Don’t worry; it’s perfectly natural. That’s why checklists and reminders exist. The good old heating system has done its job and deserves a break. Still, just like you don’t appreciate being abruptly forced back into reality in the middle of a wonderful mid-afternoon nap, so too does your HVAC system require some looking after. Systems that work hard require maintenance and check-ups. That goes beyond a simple annual filter change. So, find a reputable HVAC inspector. October should be the latest of late deadlines for you to give the heating system a test run. You should check if the heating works before the repair guy has to use a shovel to clear the snow to reach your front door.
V-Seal Weather Stripping…V-What?
We look through them all the time. Well, now would be a good time to look at them. Checking to see if windows can close adequately is essential. Exterior caulk needs to be reapplied if gaps exist between the siding and the window. V-seal weather stripping can help make sure that windows shut evenly. In general, weather stripping can be used to great effect on doors and windows. Be sure to look for signs you need to change your weather stripping and avoid possible problems.
An Expensive Mistake That Can Easily be Avoided
One word; plumbing. We all know what happens to water when it freezes. It does that annoying thing where it expands. I didn’t pay much attention in class, so I cannot tell you why the molecules do what they do, but I can tell you what happens to pipes. You know, pipes were designed for water to flow through them instead of having ice growing inside them? Exposed piping should be insulated. The water supply to exterior faucets should be turned off.
Furthermore, if you notice any cracks or holes on the outside walls, have them taken care of. Cold air seeps in through these openings and makes its way to your pipes. If you need to install or replace shut-off valves or faucets, be sure to call the pros to help. Some of these things can be tricky. If only there were a handyman you could contact who might be able to take care of that for you?
Let’s Take a Look at What’s Above our Heads
I’m guilty of this. When I’m walking somewhere, I seem to stare in front of my feet, never noticing the architecture around me. The myriad of facades, windows, and tops of buildings go unheeded. Buildings that seem so mundane from ground level are actually quite beautiful. Gym goers sometimes forego back exercises, working the chest and arms, the areas they can see.
Similarly, our poor roofs are often left forgotten. Unbelievable since they carry such a heavy burden. They do it for you, you know. So get a ladder and check on it from time to time. Roof tiles and slates can be damaged. Loose tiles are a potential problem. Have them checked out by a professional and replaced if need be. Changing the roof is one of those things you shouldn’t ever DIY, so do get some assistance. Remember, these repairs are much easier to do when the sun is shining than when the heavens are opening up above you. The postman might not be deterred by either rain, snow, sleet, or hail, but then again, no one ever expects him to walk on top of a roof!
A Call Back to the First Point on How to Prepare Your Home for Winter
We mentioned it would be wise to get the heater checked before the technician has to shovel his way through your driveway to reach you. Thought there was something odd there? No one will shovel that snow for you; it’s not in their job description. As a homeowner, it’s in yours. Prepare all the tools you will need beforehand to clear those paths. A simple tip could be to make a fun game of it. Everybody in the house is responsible for sweeping the snow during a specific time. Someone may get lucky, and there will be no snow during their ‘shift’. Others will have to work a bit of overtime. At the end of the day, it makes everyone’s lives a lot simpler, and you add a dose of luck and, hopefully, some laughs into the mix.
Now is the Winter of our Decluttering
Feels like I may have misquoted Shakespeare a bit with that one. Still, no harm, no foul. Before winter arrives in full force, clearing out the front yard is a good idea. Once the paths and walkways have been cleaned, all those shovels need to go somewhere. After having inspected the roof and performed the necessary repairs, you may have no more need for your ladder in the foreseeable future. What can you do with all of these things? There is probably scant available space left in the house, as is usually the case. There is a simple solution. You can rent storage. Chances are, apart from the ladder and shovels, there will be a few more items that could use a time-out as they haven’t been playing a role in your everyday life for a while now. Find the suitable storage space for all the clutter and enjoy a delightful, clutter-free night in front of the TV set, snuggled up with a hot beverage, maybe one with a marsh mellow poking out of the cup.
Vigilance Wins Winters
If you are careful and systematic, there is no reason you cannot prepare for the colder months that lie ahead. You’ve seen how to prepare your home for winter. Some of these things you can check and fix yourselves. For most, calling a professional is the right call. It would be unwise to try to save a little cash today and pay the full price down the line. Better to prevent than to cure. Winter brings particular challenges, but nothing that you can’t deal with if you react in due time. There’s no reason you cannot have a magical, carefree winter. If nothing else, you now know more than Jon Snow!