Summer is officially over and the fall season is a perfect time for homeowners to take advantage of the mild weather and prepare their homes for the winter. The season of snow, sleet and below-zero temperatures is fast approaching, and the next few months are ideal for getting your home winter-ready. Preparing your home for the upcoming season may seem overwhelming, but by tackling these five projects, you can have a winterized home in no time.
Replace Your Windows
Investing in quality windows is a great way to keep your home well-insulated this winter. The first thing to consider when replacing your windows is the type of window that is best for your home. Vinyl replacement windows are an excellent option if you are looking to cut down on energy costs. These windows are similar to vinyl siding in that they can drastically reduce your energy bills. Vinyl replacement windows also cut down on noise, are low maintenance and come in a variety of styles.
Another energy-efficient and low-maintenance option is aluminum windows. Aluminum windows offer many of the same benefits as vinyl windows and they are also a less expensive option. Additionally, they come in a larger variety of colors and designs than other window options. While aluminum windows may offer more design choices, vinyl windows offer more thermal efficiency, which is important to consider when winterizing your home.
Enclose Your Patio
The cold weather doesn’t have to mean saying goodbye to your beloved patio. Install an all-season sunroom to enjoy your outdoor room this winter. As with replacement windows, you will need to find the patio enclosure option that is right for you. You will also need to consider your frame, roof and glass options when enclosing your patio.
Both vinyl and aluminum sunrooms provide the thermal protection needed to guard against the winter elements. Vinyl sunrooms are a durable and low maintenance option, as they are easy to clean and show very little wear and tear. This is also a great choice for winterizing your patio, as it is extremely energy-efficient and does not easily transfer heat outside of the sunroom. Aluminum sunrooms protect against the elements and come in a variety of designs, as the material is both flexible and durable.
Clean Out Your Gutters
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for winter is clean, repair and protect your gutters. A clogged gutter can lead to water damage, falling or damaged gutters, standing water and unwanted pests. Fortunately, by staying on top of gutter maintenance, you can avoid these disasters.
It is important to clean your gutters sooner rather than later. Putting this task off until late in the fall season creates a higher risk for blockage and makes the cleaning process much more difficult. Additionally, you can prevent clogged gutters by installing mesh guards to keep out excess debris. You can install mesh guards yourself or you can utilize the help of a professional.You may also want to have a professional inspect the condition of your gutters to avoid any unnecessary issues this winter.
Patch or Replace Your Roof
A tiny leak in your roof can become a major problem if it is not patched before the first snowfall. The first step in patching your roof is locating the problem area. Visually inspect your roof for curled, cracked or peeling shingles. Shingles in this condition can easily lead to more severe issues in the winter.
For basic roof repair, you will need a putty knife, roofing cement, and roofing nails. Partially remove the shingle that needs to be repaired and spread the roofing cement under it. Nail the shingle back into place with the roofing nails and layer additional cement to cover any remaining cracks.
For more extensive roof damage, you’ll probably want to consult a professional. While simply patching your roof may be all that is needed, more serious damage may call for replacing your roof all together. It is important to adequately assess the level of damage before the problem becomes worse.
Winterize Your Garden
Winter may seem like a garden’s worst enemy, but some vegetables actually thrive in the cold weather. Vegetables such as cabbage, beets, lettuce and spinach can do quite well in the winter months. They do, however, need a little extra help. To continue growing these veggies all year long, you will want to build a coldframe. A cold frame is an enclosure for your vegetable plants with a transparent top to let in sunlight.
For the plants that will not make it through the winter, clear out any dead or dying foliage to prevent your plants from harboring diseases and spreading insect eggs. You will also want to spread new mulch to keep an even temperature throughout your garden during the winter months.
By completing these five projects, you can make a smooth transition into winter and be confident that your home is safe, sound and winter-ready.
About the Author: Danni Johnson is a contributing blogger and has worked in vinyl siding for the last 10 years. Contact Smart Siding for a free estimate on your fall home improvement projects.