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Winter can be an unforgiving season when it comes to wear and tear on homes. Here are some areas for home improvement projects that can help you and your family weather the season.
Get the Gutters Ready
Fall preparation of gutters for the winter is a necessary step to ensure proper system function. If you do not have a gutter system installed on your home, it is strongly recommended that you get one. Gutters prevent excess water pouring on you when you enter your home, and divert water away from your home’s foundation, helping avoid unnecessary flooding and settling. A gutter system also makes it possible for you to connect a rain barrel to conserve water that is used for landscaping.
If your gutter downspouts end less than five feet away from your house, improve your drainage by extending them. Have a service come out and do a thorough clean out of your gutters. Also, check to see if your gutter system is fully fastened to your home. During a wet or icy winter, you do not want to take a chance with saggy gutters and loose downspouts.
Check for missing, damaged or warped shingles and replace, as necessary before you get stuck with a leak.
Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.
Restore Your Roof
No time is a good time to have a leak in your roof, but winter is the worst time. This is because the water that seeps under shingles and into your home can quickly transform into ice. This ice not only makes the damage even worse on the roof’s surface but can translate into major damage inside of the home. If you suspect there may be issues with your roof, do not put off an inspection and repairs.
It may be that only some damaged shingles and old flashing around the chimney needs to be replaced for your roof to perform like new again. Of course, several areas that need to be repaired on a roof that is beyond its useful lifespan mean that the best course of action is a full roofing replacement.
In order to make sure that your heating system is operating at its best, your home repair checklist should include a reminder to call your local HVAC company for an annual heater tune-up and inspection. A technician will check for worn parts, signs of system damage, and ensure that any electrical connections to the unit are safe. Getting any needed repairs done early in the season can give you the peace of mind of having a fully functioning heating system when the temperatures plunge.
Windows and Doors
Some simple steps can be taken in a minimum of time to optimize the insulating function of your doors and windows. Caulk is a powerful ingredient for energy savings. You can caulk both inside and outside around your doors and windows to drastically reduce drafts during the chilly months.
Weather stripping around doorframes and windows is another great way to reduce drafts and save on your heating bill. Rotting window frames are a draft culprit that can be reduced through structural repair or window replacement.
Tackling a home improvement project such as new windows and doors can not only make your home look great, it can help you save energy as well. When you are selecting door and window models for your style upgrade, make sure to look for EnergyStar rated products.
It takes time during a busy fall schedule to make sure crucial home improvements are done by the time winter fully arrives, but the benefits you will receive far outweigh the inconvenience of proactively addressing needed improvements.