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10 Things Every Homeowner Should Do Before Winter

10 Things Every Homeowner Should Do Before Winter

Now that fall is officially in high gear winter is just around the corner. With freezing temperatures at night on the way and probably some snow too now is the time to make sure that your Washington, DC home is ready for winter.

Taking steps now to winterize your home will mean less potential damage to your home during the winter and less cleanup that you’ll have to do in the spring. And by getting your home ready now you’ll have more time over the holiday break to take your kids to fun Washington DC attractions like the Washington DC natural history museum or the Washington DC aquarium.

If you’re getting ready to put your home on the market having these tasks already done will make your home more attractive to buyers because they won’t have to immediately do these things when they move in to protect the home.

Winter is coming.

Most of these tasks can be done either by professionals or on a weekend so it won’t take much time at all for you to get your home ready for winter. Get started on these home winter preparation tasks this weekend:

Get Your Furnace Cleaned And Checked

Your furnace hasn’t been used in a while so it’s probably dusty and it may need repairs. Instead of firing it up for the first time in six months and finding out, there are cracks or things that need to be repaired after you’ve already tried to use it get it checked by a professional before you use it.

A professional furnace and inspection won’t cost a lot of money. But it will give you the peace of mind of knowing that your furnace is clean and that it’s working properly. And if there’s something that does need to be fixed a professional can find the problem and fix it before you need your furnace to stay warm.

Winterize Your Central AC Unit

You won’t be needing that central AC for a few months so while you’re getting your furnace ready to go for the winter you should also be getting your AC unit ready to be dormant until the spring or summer. You should get your central AC unit checked to make sure that it’s clean and there are no damages that should be fixed. Then make sure it’s covered and going to be safe outdoors until the spring.

If you use window AC units and not a central air conditioning system make sure that you drain the window units, safely remove them, and store them properly for the winter. Don’t just dump them in the garage. Take the time to clean them and put them away carefully so that they will be in good working order when you need them in the spring.

Check Insulation

The first line of defense for your home is insulation. When was the last time you checked your home’s insulation? Insulation breaks down over time. If you have noticed that your home has cold spots or if you noticed last winter that the house just seemed colder than unusual that wasn’t your imagination. Temperatures have been dropping each winter, and your insulation may not be keeping up.

If your home is newer your insulation is probably still holding strong. But if your home is older you may need to have the insulation checked to make sure that there’s still enough insulation to protect the home.

If your home does need more insulation spray foam insulation can be blown into the house without having to take down a wall to beef up the insulation. With energy bills set to increase spending a little money now to have the insulation checked and blow in more insulation if needed could save you a lot of money in energy costs over the course of the winter.

Seal Up Windows And Cracks

Before the weather turns cold you should be sealing up cracks all over your home and making sure that your doors and windows are weatherproofed. Using a weatherstripping seal or window seal will help seal in the warm air and keep out the cold.

All windows and doors should have weatherstripping of some kind to prevent drafts and energy leakage. Those plastic window insulation kits may not be stylish but they will do an amazing job insulating your windows. You can also install thermal weather-blocking curtains on your windows to help repel the cold and keep out drafts.

Power Wash The Roof

It’s very important to get your roof power washed as part of your winterizing process. It’s very affordable to have pros power wash the roof but you can do it yourself if you’re handy. Power washing the roof serves two functions. The initial cleaning will help remove pollen, dirt, bacteria, and standing water from the roof so that you won’t end up with mold over the course of the year.

When the roof has been washed it’s also a lot easier to see if there are any missing tiles, loose gutters, or other problems that might compromise the integrity of your roof if they’re not caught. Get a Washington DC roofer out to check the roof, clean it, and repair any problems that are found so that you don’t have to struggle to get a new roof in the middle of winter.

Check Outdoor Lighting

Make sure security lights and outdoor lights are charged or have new batteries.

In the winter time, your solar lights may not get enough sun to run the lights. Check your battery backups and reposition any solar lights that need more light in the winter. You can also find LED lights in festive patterns that can be used instead. If you have pathway lights make sure they are staked solidly into the ground so that winter storms don’t rip them up and scatter them.

Don’t forget to check the motion sensor lights and other lights that you use for safety and security in your home. It’s a good time to charge all the batteries for the security lights or change the batteries if you don’t use rechargeable batteries.

Cover Plants And Trees

Outdoor plants and trees can be very sensitive to the weather. If you have delicate plants like roses or trees that are very susceptible to damage by the cold you need to get those plants and trees safely wrapped up so that they will be lush and bloom brightly in the spring and summer.

If you have a garden you may want to can or pickle any vegetables left and then let the garden go to see for the winter. By the time spring comes, you’ll have a very healthy place to plant more flowers.

Get The Chimney Cleaned

There’s nothing like a fire in the fireplace…but make sure the fireplace is cleaned and safe to operate first.

If you have a fireplace don’t use it until you get the chimney professionally cleaned. Wood-burning fireplaces or wood stoves put out a lot of creosote. If the creosote builds up in the chimney it can cause fires and it can damage the chimney.

It’s always worth it to have a professional come check the fireplace to make sure it’s in good working order and clean the chimney. While they are cleaning the chimney they will also be checking for any cracks or damage that might cause trouble later on. You can enjoy your fireplace more all winter knowing it’s safe.

Seal The Driveway

If you have noticeable cracks in your driveway you should have those cracks professionally filled. When water from snow or rain gets into those cracks and freezes on cold Washington DC nights that will cause the water to expand. When the frozen water expands it will make the crack worse. Eventually, those cracks can cause significant damage to your driveway.

Clean The Gutters

Make sure there’s nothing in the gutters that shouldn’t be there.

The last of the leaves may still be falling but it’s still a great time to clean your gutters. It’s essential that your gutters are clear so that they can carry that rain and the water from melted snow away from your roof and your walls and back down to the ground safely.

If your gutters are clogged that water can back up in the gutters putting more and more pressure on the house until the water starts to leak inside the house. If there is water damage from clogged gutters you might not know it until there is significant damage to your home. Get your gutters cleaned, and consider getting gutter guards to keep them clean.

If you’re looking to sell your home or if you’ve been searching for a new Washington DC home look at some of the best neighborhoods in DC and contact us today for more information on how we can help.

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