A Guide to Home Maintenance Before it Snows

If you are unable to finish certain projects before it snows, then you’re liable to have problems caused by the elements in winter. Are you stuck wondering what projects you need to finish before the frost settles? Even if it has already started snowing, many projects should still be done sooner, rather than waiting for spring when the winter elements have caused their damage. Here are some projects around your home that should be your top priority to finish before it snows…

Insulation

Before the weather drops, you want to make sure that your home is prepared to handle the temperature fluctuations. Failing to do this could cost you hundreds of dollars in energy costs, potentially. This means that you should make sure that each main part of your home is well insulated and creates a sealed environment.

Gutters

Fallen leaves clutter your gutters. If the leaves linger they can cause ice dams, so make sure to clear them out. Clean out your gutters and downspouts by flushing them with water. Then inspect the joints and tighten the brackets. You could also replace old gutters with new ones that have built-in leaf guards.

Paint

Inspect the exterior walls to see if any paint is peeling on the house. If the paint is peeling, it’s an indication that your paint film is failing and isn’t protecting the siding of your home. If left unfixed, the siding itself will disintegrate, causing costly future repairs.

Flowers

You need to plant your spring flowers in the fall. If you wait till the end of winter to do so, you will be too late and your garden bed will be barren. Early spring flowers like tulips require cool temperatures to grow, so plant them as soon as you can.

Doors and Windows

To winterize your doors and windows, add weatherstripping. This can be plastic, foam, felt, or metal. Weatherstripping seals small gaps to keep the cold air and snowy weather outside. Inspect the existing weatherstripping on your doors and windows and see if it’s torn or missing. Make sure the bottom seal is working on your outside doors. If your doors don’t have weatherstripping on their jambs, install adhesive-backed foam pads. If your windows are older, add weatherstripping, as it can stop drafts from seeping in. Check out this article for more tips on weatherproofing.

Deck and Patio

You need to prepare your deck or patio for winter by cleaning the outside furniture and looking for any needed repairs. Then cover and store the furniture along with your barbecue grills in a protected area like a shed. Make sure all the soil is emptied from the pots and planters on your deck, porch, or patio. The soil left in clay pots will freeze and ultimately break the pots.

Roof

You need to inspect your roof and look for any damaged or curled shingles, missing or corroded flashing leaky vents, or damaged boards along the eaves. You can walk on your roof if it isn’t too steep or made with slate or tile to examine these elements or use a ladder and inspect around the perimeter of the roof. Peer down the chimney with a flashlight to make sure no animals have created a home there. Such a thing would cause a nasty smell if went unnoticed until after you turn on the fireplace. Valleys and flashing are prone to leaks and spots, so pay special attention to them. These leaks and spots can be repaired with patches and roofing cement that saves you thousands of dollars on water damage later in the winter.

Driveway

Inspect your driveway for cracks and then fix any damage using driveway filler. After damages are repaired, coat the driveway with a commercial sealer. Make sure to seal the driveway to lengthen the life of the asphalt material through this coming winter and beyond.

Mice

In fall, mice are in search of a winter home and they’re eyeing your house with its warm fire and insulated attic. Mice can squeeze through a quarter-inch opening. Make sure all your exterior vents are tight and screened and check that you have no gaps underneath your garage door. If possible, seal your doggie door and be vigilant about keeping the doors and windows closed or else you’ll be setting mouse traps when winter comes.

Heater

Make sure your heater is operating well before it gets too cold outside. If your house is left not properly heated, the pipes can break and you can have flooding. Flooding in the middle of winter is no one’s secret fantasy. To ensure your heater is working, you should schedule a maintenance appointment with a heating professional.

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