Is your house ready for winter? All it takes is a little bit of time and a few simple steps to find out. These do-it-yourself tests are quick, easy and free. If your home passes all of these inspections then you can rest assured that your home is ready for winter. But if not, now is the time to call in a professional, before winter arrives and the problems get worse (and more expensive to fix!).
Your basement, attic and the outer walls of your home should be properly insulated. Check for cold air by holding your hand up to electrical outlets and switch plates. If you feel cold air then your house is not properly insulated. Poor insulation will let the cold in on all levels of your home (including the basement, even if it’s underground), and an attic that isn’t insulated sufficiently may let in not just cold air, but water (rain or melted snow), as well.
Doors and Windows
Hold your hand up to exterior door and window frames. If you feel cold air, an easy do-it-yourself solution is to caulk, or install weather stripping, to seal the gaps between the frame and the wall. These products are inexpensive and readily available in stores.
If the windows are several years old then you may want to think about replacing them with newer, more efficient and better-insulating windows. Caulking and weather stripping may last through this winter, and new windows aren’t cheap. But an investment in new windows guarantees a higher quality of window that won’t require short-term fixes (which do add up when you have to repeat them year after year).
How often do you check on your house’s furnace? Now is a great time to make sure that the furnace is clean. Check for leaks (this is something you may want to ask a professional to do). A clean furnace lowers your heating costs, and a well-maintained furnace can last years longer than one that isn’t.
When your yard work is done for the year, it’s time to turn off the water supply to outdoor pipes and sprinkler systems. If you don’t, the water will freeze and the pipes can burst, which is not only a pain to clean up but very expensive to repair.
After the leaves have fallen and before it gets too cold, check your gutters and downspouts. Climb up on a ladder to clean debris from the gutters, or hire a professional to do the work for you. Water will follow the path of least resistance, so if your gutters and downspouts are clogged, it will find its way into your home through the roofing and edging. If you discover a leak due to clogged or low-quality gutters, chances are there’s a gap or hole somewhere that is bringing cold air inside along with the water. You may need to hire a professional to locate the source of the leak and repair it. It might be most cost-effective to install new gutters and downspouts; ask the installer about wider 6” gutters and gutter guards, which will keep your gutters clear all year round.
Time to Winterize!
The bottom line is that it’s better to spend the time and money now to winterize, instead of waiting for the damage to be done, and then having to spend even more time and money later on. By conducting these easy tests yourself you can determine if it’s time to call in a professional to help winterize your home. AROCON Roofing and Construction, LLC, will inspect your roof, siding, insulation, doors, windows, gutters and downspouts, and make repairs or replacements if needed. If you think your home may not be ready for winter, AROCON is ready to help keep your home warm and cozy throughout the winter.