5 Things You Should Do with Your Home’s Exterior This Winter
Brace yourself for the full force winter. Before you know it, freezing winds and snow covered driveways will be the norm. There is a lot you need to do, before it is too late. Good preparation will get through the cold season a lot more snug and secure if you do a few, quick and easy jobs now, before it is too late.
Budgets are tight this time of year as money goes towards food, holidays and presents but do not let that worry you, all of these jobs are inexpensive. Set a weekend morning aside to get these tasks done, you won’t regret it.
Seal Up Any Air Leaks
The last thing you want in the dead of winter is icy air flowing in through a crevice or gaps in your walls while the warm air sneaks out. Take a slow walk around the entire house, from the inside as well as the outside. Look carefully at door frames and the areas around windows. Also, look at the places where electrical cables or water pipes go through walls.
Where you notice any gaps where the caulk or sealant has diminished, scrape it off and carefully clean and dry the surfaces. Replace with new caulking. For larger gaps, there are a number of clever products on the market including an expanding foam that you spray into the gap. It will expand and harden and you can cut or sand the excess away.
This quick and easy job is most effective in retaining heat and will keep you warm while reducing your heating bills.
Clean and Improve Gutters
After all the leaves and debris have accumulated in the gutter over the fall, it is imperative that you give them a complete clean, not forgetting the downspouts as well. This is important to allow them to work effectively and carry water away and not build up. If left clogged up, the water in winter can freeze, causing damage to the gutters as well as making them totally ineffective. Water overflow can leak into the house as well the outside making the area around the house slippery and dangerous.
Make the gutter system even more effective by fixing extensions to the end of the downspouts. That way the expel the water even further away from the house. They do not cost much at all and simply connect to the down pipe with to extra work required.
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Feed Your Lawn
Although your grass is dormant, the roots are still alive and active. A bit of attention before it gets too cold will benefit to lawn, helping it survive the harsh winter and letting it bounce back faster and healthier in spring. Speak to your local garden centre and select on that is suitable for this time of the year. This will boost the nitrogen levels in the root system, making the grass more resistant to drought and disease. It will also enhance the rich green colour when the warm weather returns.
Check on Heating System
Never leave these basic checks and maintenance to the last minute. Replace the filter on the furnace every month for optimum performance. By removing the dust and other particles trapped in the filter, it will improve the performance of the furnace and reduce your utility costs. If you are not familiar with how to do this, follow the instructions carefully to ensure you do not install the filter the wrong way around as this will result in reduced performance.
Clean Your Outdoor Furniture and Bring It Indoors
Although the furniture you use outdoors is designed for outdoor use, a harsh winter will certainly cause them harm if they are totally exposed for long periods of time. Water will seep into any crevices in the wood and as it freezes, it will expand and cause cracks in your furniture. Plastic furniture will also suffer as it can become brittle and metal pieces will be susceptible to rust. To preserve them and extend their lifespan, give them a good clean with warm soapy water and dry them completely. Store them in a dry place wherever you have space. Make sure that cushions are also dry and stored away to prevent mould developing.
I highly recommend taking these simple, inexpensive steps to keep things looking good and to make sure you and your family warm over the winter months.