Before the Weather Outside Gets Frightful…

It may be early to be thinking about winter and all its fury, but it’s never too soon to think of how the changing seasons will affect your home.  And with winter’s low temperatures, frost and ice being just around the corner, it’s best to get a head start on any repairs or projects.  In fact, with the warmer temperatures, it may make it even easier and fun.

So perform a thorough check of the exterior of your home now.  And don’t be afraid to do the maintenance work yourself.  After all, most things are relatively simple and inexpensive, not to mention that they can save you from bigger expenses down the line.
Here are some tips for updating and maintaining a home for the Fall and Winter:

Check Your Foundation
As much as we try to stop it, prevent it, or conserve it, heat escapes.  Cracks and missing caulk around areas where masonry meets siding or any other openings, like where wires or pipes might enter, tend to make it easier.  These same cracks and holes also allow for water and ice to build up, increasing your risk of mold and other damages.  Seal them up with fresh caulk.

Swap out Your Windows
Although a bit tedious, switching out your normal windows for storm windows is a smart move.  Storm windows have a number of benefits.  For one, they insulate much better than the average window.  They also tend to be lower in price than replacement windows and they reduce drafts, creating energy savings all around.

Exterior Walls
Peeling or blistering paint is an unfortunate way of your home trying to tell you it’s no longer able to protect the siding of your building.  And if you let this worsen, you run the risk of it completely deteriorating and adding future repair expenses.

The colder elements can wreak havoc on your roof.  Granted your roof was built to protect your home, but remember that it too needs inspecting and maintenance.  So, check for leaks, clean the gutters and downspouts, and ensure that clogging and loose joints do not become an issue.  Leaving this unattended could result in water damage, damage to insulation, wood, and even plumbing and HVAC issues.

Have a garage?
Prevent cold air from sneaking in, as well as small critters, by weather- stripping your door and being sure to seal the garage door.

Walk further out, inspecting your drive way, and keep an eye out for cracks and holes.  After a quick and easy, not to mention inexpensive trip to the hardware store for driveway filler and commercial sealer, you’ll find that maintaining a safe and up to date driveway can save you hundreds in the long run.

Porch, Deck, and Garden Life
If you tend to your garden life with a hose, remember to drain it and store it inside.  Shut off any and all outdoor water valves.  This can and will save you from dealing with expanding freezing water in pipes and faucets, which can lead to bursting and breaking of those pipes.

Prevent Falls
Ice is probably one of winter’s most feared consequences.  But not before falling.  So, check your outdoor supports, stairs, and railings.  Slippery circumstances can and will arise.  Be sure to have something to hold on to; it may save you or someone you care about from injury.


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