The winter season comes with several benefits and challenges. The beauty of it is that you can engage in your favorite sports such as skiing. It also tends to kill germ-causing microorganisms in the environment due to the freezing temperatures. However, there is a need to brace yourself for the chilly weather. Doing some renovations on your house makes you adapt well with the reason.
Many people these days are increasingly seeing the need to prepare their homes for winter. Most of them do not become efficient in doing so. This is because there are areas which they leave behind. Doing the basic house repairs and maintenance is halfway to the finishing line. This article focuses on the other things which you can do.
Insulating the Windows
With winter, you can find yourself spending more on the power bills. This is because you switch the HVAC system for more hours. One way to curb this is by insulating your georgian windows. With this, there will be a slight reduction in the entry of cold air into the rooms. There are cost-efficient methods to go about the sealing of windows.
One, go for V-seal weather stripping. In this, you add the plastic weather stripping on the sides of the sashes. There is no interference with the normal closing or opening of the window. It can also be used on the doors for the same purpose. The rope caulk is the other option. It is normally sticky and soft. By molding it in the right manner, it can fill the gaps in windows. There are no hardships in removing it after the cold season or when doing the cleaning.
The shrink film is essential as well. Its application is done with double-sided tape. When you heat the film with dry air, it shrinks and becomes drum-tight. You can do this using a hairdryer. It captures an insulating bag of air and seals of drafts. Nail polish is another option which you have.
Trimming on Tree Branches
During winter, storms tend to emerge at times. This needs you to think of the risk areas associated with this. One of them is the presence of hanging tree branches on your roof. Cutting the branches can be done easily. However, if the trees are overgrown and need more accessories for the trimming work, look for tree removal experts. They will accurately remove the excess branches.
The overhanging limbs make water be channeled onto your roof. In case there are tiny cracks, this results in the water sipping into your house. Using their expertise, they may advise on the need for the whole tree to be removed. Other outdoor structures which are not firm can be reinforced to avoid any risk from them.
Check the Roof
It is undesirable to realize your roofing structure has some weak points after the winter falls. The repairing work during these periods can be time-consuming and challenging for the roofing contractor. This may take you deep into your pocket more. There is a chance of avoiding all this when you inspect the roof in advance.
Go round the house and check for rust around metal surfaces around the ceiling. Focus on the nature of shingles and this is whether there are buckling or curling issues. Are there masses of lichen and moss underneath the roofing structure? These are indicators to look for. For a more comprehensive roof inspection, hire a professional. The roof inspectors are in a capacity to ascertain the condition and advise accordingly.
Clearing of Gutters and Eavestrough
The clogging of gutters and downspouts can at times result in the damaging of the house foundation. It may as well cause ice dams around the house. This can be expensive to any house owner. This means that the complete removal of the tree debris, dry leaves, and dust is elemental. The inclination angle of gutters matters. Ensure that they are not sagging hence trapping water in any way.
This is where you do the tightening of the gutter hangers and downspout buckets. It is advisable to replace worn-out or broken parts with new ones. This makes the mechanical support more robust.
Top Up the LPG/Oil Tank
This is important to the residents in remote areas. Living off mains comes with challenges such as taking much time in sourcing essential materials. Topping up your LPG tank, therefore, becomes much relevant. If your tank is relatively small, you can consider having a larger one for more storage. This secures your homestead even when the snowing goes for weeks or months.
During the cold months, the demand for oil and fuels, in general, tends to rise. This automatically raises the cost. The good thing with the oil is that it can be stored for an extended duration such as two years. It means that you may source the fuel when the prices are at the lowest during summer.
Inspect Your Fireplace
Inside the home, check if the flue damper opens, seals, and closes smoothly. The flue should be free of combustible materials such as bird nests. These days, you do not have to struggle with such checks. Experts in fireplace inspection work are in numbers out there. They know the trendy options of materials to use around the fireplace or chimney renovations.
While checking the fireplace, invest in the right firewood. There is a long list of the types of wood to use. There are pine, oak, birch, and even kiln dried ash logs from Buy Firewood Direct. And when it comes to bulk buying, there are some tips you have to keep in mind. You can even buy one online, there are a lot of sites where you can place your order.
Insulating the Loft Space
The loft space is one area that people forget. It has direct contact with the interiors of the house. Meaning, any leaking cold air will lower the temperatures in the house significantly. Studies show that an insulated loft can save you a lot of energy per year. To be precise, an increase in insulation from 120mm to 270mm can make you save an estimate of £12 per year.
However, you need experts to do the fitting. This leaves no points of weakness. Look at the past projects they have handled as this makes you determine their capability to deliver. Considering a total replacement of certain parts of your loft is vital. This can make the insulation work easier hence efficient.
Check the Outdoor Lights
The lights need to be in working condition and well-cleaned. After powering off the main power to the lighting system, inspect the nature of the bulb. Even if it may be working, it can be a good thing to invest in a new one. This guarantees you continuous lighting throughout the winter. You may return the older one after the season ends.
A good choice may be to go for LED lights. They tend to be low on energy consumption. You can, therefore, minimize the overall domestic power usage. Look for the best brands in the market for better performance. The physical arrangement of the lights should be perfect. This makes it hard for the snow or winter debris to cover them.
Tune Up the Heating System
Find a technician who will inspect the heat pump and furnace in all aspects. They use their technical skills to check the performance and it is clean. They match these results to the manufacturers-rated efficiency for the equipment. The disparities are then addressed for optimal functioning. These experts can determine the carbon-monoxide leakage if any. This increases your safety.
Making your booking early is key before the high-season for the HVAC solutions. Target the contractors who are certified. They should be from the Air Conditioning Contractors of America. These contractors normally employ technicians from the NATE program. The best thing is that they follow the right protocols. This guarantees you high-quality solutions.
Reverse the Ceiling Fans
Doing a lot of manipulation around systems and equipment is common in preparing for winter. This happens also on the ceiling fans. For the ones with a reverse switch, it makes it possible to run the blades in the clockwise direction. This is after turning the heat on. The fans will produce an updraft and push down the heated air from the ceiling. The process is aided by the principle of hot air rises.
Some rooms have a high ceiling and this approach helps in even distribution of heat. You may end up turning the thermostat down by one or two degrees. It, therefore, brings about energy efficiency.
Turn Off Exterior Faucets
Water in an external pipe will freeze during winter. This is why draining the different pipes is key. If this is not done the freezing translates into an accumulation of ice in the pipe. From this, it may end up bursting. This brings many losses especially when you have invested in a wide connection of pipes such as for your garden. Have gate valves that work efficiently in doing the draining.
For the lawn irrigation system, the same thing should happen. Some nozzles tend to get damaged permanently when the freezing ice expands while inside. It is essential to disassemble every bit of the jets and related accessories. This ensures that there is no water left inside.
Mulching Leaves During Mowing
Studies indicate that rather than raking dry leaves, prefer mowing them. The main essence is to reduce the size of the leaves as you allow them to dry. The dime-sized leaf pieces fall on the grass. The decomposition will then occur hence act as nourishment to the lawn during the cold months.
The best way to do this is to use the lawnmower without the bag. Another thing is swapping the mulching blade with a cutting blade.
Prepare to Stow the Mower
During this period, the mower is normally not in use as there is no visible lawn to work on. This makes it essential to focus on the risk areas related to this. For instance, the fuel in the engine may end up decomposing. The carburetor will be mechanically crippled which makes it hard to start the engine during spring.
If you have included stabilizers in the fuel, fill the whole fuel tank with more stabilized fuel. This keeps it fresh longer. Ensure that you run the engine briefly to allow the circulation to take place. It is key to keep igniting the engine from time to time as this is part of the maintenance. For the advanced brands, there are cold-weather storage options for the machine. Thus, go to its manual and learn how to go about it.
Test the Sump Pump
The first step is to pour gallons of water into the pit. This helps you know if the pump turns on. Do this every few months. In most cases, this applies during the long dry or winter seasons. The regular checks give you an opportunity to know its working condition. Look at the specific instructions on your sump pump from the operation manual.
Restock Winter Essentials
There are some basic commodities that are in high-demand during winter. Apart from the food supplies, there are other products such as salt and ice melts which are important. You can buy them in bulk for more convenience. People tend to buy snow blowers and shovels for reducing the heaps of snow. These days, there are better options in products such as Sno Wovel which make work easier.
Go to the internet with research on the trendy products for winter. This makes you have a better chance of making your winter season more comfortable.
The winter months every year need proper preparation by home-owners. It gives them the chance to reduce the risks associated with the chilly weather and storms. Some of these tricks are affordable and only need proper planning. Look for competent inspectors and contractors on the different operations such as roof repairs.