Customizing and Caring For Your Home for Colder Weather
Fall has arrived, but is your home prepared for colder weather? As you incorporate more home decor choices and fixer-upper possibilities this upcoming season, try using these simple and time-efficient tricks.
Weatherproof Your Home
“Weatherproofing” simply means making sure your home will hold up against anything Mother Nature throws at it. Not only will taking this step help ensure the health of your home (and your family!), it will help you save money in repairs now and come spring. HomeAdvisor suggests that your winter-prep weatherproofing tasks should include cleaning your gutters and downspouts, turning off the water to your garden hoses and disconnecting them from your house, and giving your wooden deck a sealing treatment to help it withstand winter rain and snow.
Spruce Up the Chimney
Nothing quite hearkens the feeling of home like a fireplace, but before you add some finishing touches, it’s time to clean up all that soot left over from last year. Dirty chimneys are not only inefficient, but can cause toxins to accumulate in your home, making existing allergies worse. According to The Chimney Safety Institute of America, the majority of chimney fires go undetected and are one of the main sources of damaged structures, deaths, and injuries.
Once you’ve removed soot and other debris, go as far up the structure as you can with a chimney brush. Make sure that the chimney cover or animal guard is removed so that particles are able to get free. It’s also important to wear protective goggles and clothing, and have a tarp ready so that your floors don’t get covered. Chimney sweeping is hard work if you’re up to the task; however, a professional chimney sweep is an option to consider.
Amp Up the Air Quality
The air quality of your home matters, because it will keep you and your family healthy and breathing easier. Maintenance fixes, such as air filters and smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, will ensure that you also remain safe and notify you of any fires or poisonous gases that occur in your home, especially while you are asleep. Make sure that your alarms are running as efficiently as possible by keeping up on any maintenance and cleaning.
Air filters should also be replaced regularly. Though there is no set requirement to replacing your filter, a good rule of thumb is to exchange them every 2 to 3 months, or depending on your individual needs, so that dust and debris aren’t filling up your home and lungs.
Tend to Your Pipes
Pipes are a hidden network of steel or other galvanized material which carries water, waste, irrigation and gas to and away from your home. Though there are many types of pipes available for various uses, they all require some care in order to keep your home in top form.
If it’s freezing outside, uncovered pipes that are filled with water can burst due to the expanse of ice. By investing in insulation, you’ll keep your lines warm, which means you’ll have running water and a cozier house while saving on money, time and energy.
Broken piping systems can be fixed by a professional, but before the problem gets worse, it’s important to note what to look for, such as puddles of water in the basement, on the floors or in the cabinets, which could indicate a leak. Other telltale signs include rust, a moldy odor or a clanging sound, which is a sign of loose pipes.
There are plenty of ways to spruce up your space without spending a ton of money. In addition, by showing your home some TLC, you’ll be better prepared for the upcoming season.