When the seasons change, homeowners have much to think about when living in the New England region. As we prepare for the winter, we can expect much snowfall, ice, rain, and even snowstorms. The seasons in New England are known for being up and down, and it’s important to keep the interior and exterior of your home on point to avoid damage because we never know what to expect. When the winter is approaching, homeowners can take action and get prepared for anything the winter may throw at them. For a list of tips on how to winterize both the interior and exterior of the home, read through this blog.
How To Winterize The Interior Of The Home…
Sealing Windows and Doors
Take a few minutes to check every window and door in the house. Is there a draft coming from any one of them? Do any of the seals look worn or cracked? If so, you would do well to reseal any problem areas, as a draft means that air is escaping and so is your heat! Go one step further and line the windows with plastic wrap to really offset any tiny drafts. If the windows look tinted, fogged, or if they are noticeably cracked, this is an obvious sign to replace your window or door. Be sure to use the right materials when installing new windows and door seals, and ensure the seals will uphold through both cold and hot temperatures. Doing this will go a long way to saving you money on heating bills.
Insulate Walls & Windows
Does your roof frequently experience ice dams? These are caused by heat escaping through your attic or top floor ceiling, which melts the snow on the roof. Then, with the eaves, the snow refreezes, which causes a buildup of ice on your roof. Adding insulation will allow better circulation of air throughout your home, and will ultimately prevent ice dams and the ensuing problems they cause to your roof and gutters. Proper insulation goes a long way during the winter, and may be one of the most important items on this list.
Tidy Up The Mudroom
Winter is notorious for snow and ice melt on the bottom of shoes. Tracking this inside can harm your floors and can call for meticulous cleanup. Make space in the mudroom for your family members to wipe off their boots outside and take them off inside before they ever step into the actual house. Mats, small rugs, and protection on the floor can help against constant winter traffic. Use abrasive mats outside the door to wipe off boots, and use shoe trays in the mudroom to house shoes when guests remove them. Keeping the mudroom clean and tidy can help you reduce that white trail of salt that sheds from outdoor clothing and accessories during the winter time.
Energy Efficiency Throughout The Home
Get ready to have your mind blown… use a rug to insulate the floor! Specifically, with hardwood floors, cracks in the floor offer an escape for air. A rug, however, will keep in the heat by blocking the cracks. The idea is to keep each room in the house warm so you don’t use more heat than you need to. Consider short haired rugs, medium length rugs, or a long, comfy shag rug in the home. Utilize rugs in the living area, hallways, walkthrough areas, and of course, the bedrooms for ultimate comfort.
Utilize Sunlight In The Home
The most affordable way to heat up your house during the day is to use the abundant energy of the sun. On sunny days, keep the curtains or drapes open to let in sunlight, which will naturally heat up the room(s). If you don’t have natural light anywhere in the home, consider installing windows, doors, and skylights. A sliver of sun in the home, on your face, and warming the air can drastically improve your mood during the winter time. Living in New England, we already don’t get the suggested amounts of Vitamin D and natural calcium from the sun as we should. Allowing natural sun into the home can help combat this, allowing your windows and skylights to cast a beautiful glow and warm hue in any room.
Rearrange Furniture In Common Areas
You may not realize it, but you may be paying just to heat up the couch instead of the entire room! Move furniture away from heating vents to allow for optimal airflow and to heat up each room evenly and efficiently. When your furniture is too close to air vents, you don’t feel the full flow of the air in each room, and it may be seemingly colder in some rooms of the home. Positioning your furniture is everything in rooms with exposed heating vents.
Turn Off Water Valves
You probably won’t need to water any of your plants outside this winter. Turn off the water valves that lead outside to the hose, the pool, and other outdoor accessories. Also, be sure to drain these pipes so the water won’t freeze, expand, and potentially cause a flooding disaster. This is a very important step in the winterization process. Throughout the winter, you should also be periodically checking on your pipes in the home. Sometimes pipes can crack, expand and cause problems during the winter if they freeze or get too cold. Be sure your home is heated well throughout all areas, and remember even the basement and the attic need proper circulation to avoid issues.
How to Winterize the Exterior of Your Home…
Roofing & Siding On The Home
Before the first snowfall, you should have your roofing and siding inspected by professionals. We will be checking for leaks and impacted exterior, which can cause heat loss, rot, and even flooding. Yikes! Get the exterior inspected as soon as possible so that any problems may be addressed. You wouldn’t want to have a permeated roof or rotted siding before going into the winter. Take action to have your home inspected in the spring/fall so you give yourself enough time to repair and restore if need be.
Plantings & Lawn Care For Winter
Be sure to mow your lawn one last time during the fall. You should cut the grass one-third of its current height so as not to damage it. If you planted anything that can survive the winter, take care not to damage it when shoveling snow. The same goes for the lawn. Keep salt and ice melt away from any greenery to avoid brown patches or drying out the soil. Cover plants and shrubs with protective burlap or another wrapping to keep them safe from heavy snowfall. You would hate to see all of your hard work on your annuals go to waste because you didn’t properly winterize the elements of your property.
Just as we explored above, you should drain and wrap any hoses you use outside during the spring and summer and store them in the garage or another area where they will be kept safe. Similarly, drain the pipes of any leftover water to prevent freezing and cracked pipes. Otherwise, you could be looking at potential flooding problems. This is called a blowout, and it should be done before winter every year.
Prep The Yard & Patio For The Snow
You’ll be spending less time outdoors, so stack all lawn chairs and cover them with a tarp or other wrapping. Store everything in the basement, the garage, or the shed. Cover the grill, move lawn furniture and accessories, and get everything inside that would be damaged by snow. Protect your summer yard and patio furniture so you can use it for years to come.
Organize The Garage For The Winter
Summer and fall are over. Time to bring forward the winter items, such as shovels, the snowblower, and winter toys like sleds, tubes, skis, and snowboards. Also, be sure to stock up on ice melt… you’re going to need it. Keep ice melt in a sealed container to protect it from spills, water, and kids rummaging around the garage.
At WORKS by Jesse, we want you to be safe and warm this winter. Prepping your house, both inside and out, is a must. Your home is your last defense against the weather, and you have the ability to get everything in place beforehand. New England winters are harsh and unforgiving, so get ahead of the weather and keep your house protected.
For more information about winterizing your property, contact WORKS by Jesse by phone at 978-291-7735, or visit our website at https://worksbyjd.com/