Today’s post is written by guest blogger Paul Denikin, a home repair project expert and creator of DadKnowsDIY.com.
It’s still Fall, and while that may not spell household maintenance time for you, consider the consequences of letting things slide. You could easily end up with a leaky roof, frozen plumbing, or a breezy home that’s hard to keep comfortable when temperatures fall.And those are just a few of the problems that can result if you ignore the importance of winterizing your home. So before you lock the tool shed and start planning holiday dinner, give some serious thought to a few of the most important household pre-winter tasks.
A good roof over your head
If you’ve been meaning to replace a missing shingle or two on your roof, now would be a very good time to take care of it before it becomes a much bigger problem. With winter coming, it very likely will cause problems you haven’t bargained for, such as leaks from rain or melting snow, damage you may find hard to deal with once snow and ice cover your roof.
You can often repair damaged shingles yourself with a little cement and flashing. However, if you aren’t particularly handy or have a problem with heights, it’s probably worthwhile to have a roofing professional give you an estimate.
The weight of accumulated snowfall can bring a heavy overhanging branch down on your roof and give your home some unwanted ventilation. Take the opportunity to do a little pruning and cutting before the weather turns nasty. If you have an older house or a flat roof, make sure there’s enough insulation between you and the elements.
Winterize your walls
It can be difficult to keep your heating costs down and your plumbing in one piece if you don’t have sufficient insulation in your exterior walls. Water tends to linger in your pipes.
When the temperature drops, that water can freeze and cause your pipes to burst, leaving you with a nightmare of a repair. Making sure you’re well-insulated will keep the water flowing and your pipes in one piece.
When it comes to insulation, don’t forget your grade school science and the fact that heat rises, which means if you have attic space you’ll need to insulate it as well. Don’t forget any renovated basement space you might have, and that doors and windows need to be weather-stripped.
Storm doors and windows
You can save a lot of money during the winter months with storm doors and windows. In fact, just installing storm doors can save you as much as 45 percent on your heating bill and protect your family if your house tends to be a bit drafty when the cold winds blow.
They come in a wide range of options (you can get storm doors with screens at the bottom or top) and they give you an added layer of home security by making it more difficult for bad guys to break in.
Winterize your pool, too
Remember that winterizing your pool means more than slapping a cover over it and putting the pool toys away. Preparing your pool for winter is all about keeping it clean and preventing any off-season damage.
Be careful to keep your water chemistry in balance, that means checking your pH, total alkalinity and calcium hardness to be sure that the surface doesn’t become stained. You can keep the water blue and clear of contamination by adding a winterizing chemical kit.
Avoid a floating device, which is apt to stick against and bleach the side of your pool. Also, don’t throw chlorine or bromine tablets into the pool, because they’ll sink to the bottom. Once you’ve set your pool up for the winter, then it’s time for the cover.
Checking a few items off your home maintenance list can ensure you have an uneventful, repair-free winter. It can also make life easier when it’s time to get ready for spring and warmer weather.