The Winter Procrastinator: Getting Your Home Ready Last Minute Before the Cold
last minute Christmas shopper; recovers only half of the decorations they’ve had stored in boxes for years, and puts them up days before Christmas; buys grocery store desserts on the way to a family gathering.
If any of the above describes you, then maybe the holidays are not your favorite time of the year. That’s okay. The first step to recovery is awareness and acknowledgement. We’re here to help you through this trying time. If the shopping, decorating, and cooking is not your strong suit, that’s perfect, that’s only half of the winter prep.
Behind the scenes of Christmas lights and jingle bells, there is some serious home preparation needed to head into the cold months. Most important is making sure your home is sealed tight preventing any moisture from entering. Water and moisture buildup almost always lead to mold, especially if ignored until the cold season passes.
Steps for Sealing Your Home & Preparing for the Cold
1. Prep Outdoor Plumbing
Outdoor plumbing might be one of the most crucial elements of winterizing a home. If excess water exists in outdoor faucets or hoses they can freeze in their pipes, and potentially burst. Make sure to drain and turn off all faucets, including any sprinkler systems. Being extra careful never hurts – use heat tape on any questionable pipes inside the house. Performing all of these quick checks will (unfortunately) prevent you from having to call any (really cool) mold removal companies, like us, during or following the holidays.
2. Divert water away from house
With heavy rains or snow storms, a lot of strain is put on your gutters. You want to make sure that the water and debris your gutters are collecting, are being pushed down and away from your house. Add extensions to downspouts to divert water several feet away from the base of your home.
3. Clean Gutters
Checking to make sure your gutters are free of debris before the rain and snow come can prevent water buildup as well as ice from forming along your gutters and roof. If the gutters collect too much weight they can potentially collapse, cause leaks, or other roof damage.
4. Check Roof
While you’ve still got the ladder out from checking the gutters, check your roof as well. Look for any missing or damaged shingles that could be the source for unwanted leaks indoors.
5. Caulk Windows & Doors
Those tiny cracks between your siding and windows or doors may seem like nothing when the weather is mild. However, when temperatures drop to freezing or below, the cold air coming in through these cracks will make the difference between a warm and cool room. Use silicone caulk (about $6 at Home Depot) to fill in those cracks. Be thorough and check all window and door frames and joints.
6. Seal Leaks
Wherever you feel a draft or see water dripping, just seal it all up. Do a quick scan of your home, and don’t forget your attic and basement. Check all storm windows and doors. Replace any weather stripping, and caulk the entry points of ducts and pipes that lead outdoors. You can’t be too careful when preparing for the cold. Not only are you ensuring you and your family’s comfort, but that of your home so that is may remain durable throughout the entirety of the winter months.
If these winter prep steps didn’t do it for you, we are very sorry to hear that. Maybe you can give shopping and decorating another try… Just think of it this way, Aunt Karen may have found that perfect gift for little Johnny, but you’re the one who kept him warm and dry all winter and that’s what really counts. He’ll appreciate it one day.