Every house, new or old, must be prepared for the winter period to avoid unpleasant surprises.
When leaves start falling from the trees and the temperature is going down, it is a signal that it is time to take care of your house and prepare it for wintering.
Skipping this important stage before winter may result in expensive repairs. However, if you want to avoid it, we encourage you to read this article and find out how to avoid costly problems and enjoy the upcoming winter with peace of mind.
1. Home security first and foremost
Before you turn on the heating in your house for the first time, no matter what type of heating you have, you should take care of security systems and alarm sensors in the event of smoke or carbon monoxide emissions. You should buy special devices and make sure they work properly. To do this, go to a store with such accessories and ask about the model that will meet our requirements. If you already have such devices, service them. Replace the batteries, check if they are working and if the information they display is correct. Also, make sure you have a fire extinguisher in the house, which in the event of a fire, can save your house from burning down. If you already have it, check the expiry date., If it is overdue, you should get a new one. This stage is the most important because it is strictly about safety, which should always come first.
2. Water sources outside the house
Before the first frosts appear, it is worth taking care to turn off the access to water outside our house, disconnect hoses and tap connections. Leaving them attached in frost may cause backflow of water in taps and water pipes inside walls. In addition, severe frost may cause the water in the pipes to freeze, causing them to expand. This can result in bursting pipes or sewage pipes and require the replacement of the entire water supply system in our home.
3. Check the sump pump and check the valve
Before the first frost, it is worth taking care of the sump pump and checking the valve. Make sure all bolts are securely seated on the check valve terminals and that there is no visible damage. They should be inspected approximately every 3 months. In case you notice anything worrying, it is worth replacing them to avoid serious problems later.
4. Check for any cracks and damages on the outside of the house
Before each winter, it is worth ensuring that the entire house is sealed against heat loss. To do this, go to the store and purchase a couple of tubes of external sealant. Walk around the house and look for any cracks between the trim and the siding, around the door and window frames, and where pipes and cables enter the building. Preventing moisture from entering the walls is one of the cheapest and most important maintenance jobs any homeowner should do. Seal and protect your house against moisture penetration and heat from escaping outside.
5. Secure all wooden elements outside the house
Another important step that must be taken before the first signs of winter appear is to protect all wooden components that come into contact with the air - any planks, entrance doors, windows, etc. Each of them requires maintenance. For this purpose, each of these elements should be sealed, painted with a layer of impregnation following the manufacturer's specifications or recommendations.
6. Now it's time to check the roof
This is an activity that should always be done before winter. The leaves that fell from the trees in autumn may have clogged the gutters. Remove them from the gutters and roof valleys to prevent the backflow of water under the shingles and flashings. Thanks to this, in heavy rainfall, the gutters will do their job and drain water properly. When winter arrives and snowstorms start to occur, snow and ice should also be removed from the gutters to prevent backflow and damage to these components.
7. First start-up of the furnace
In winter, the most important thing is to keep the house warm. Keeping the heat source, i.e. the furnace free from any dirt or dust, and replacing the filters is one of the most important steps that should be taken each winter. Not only is it important to replace the filters, but also to have a furnace serviced by a professional company. This can lower your heating bills and keep you warm throughout the winter. If your furnace is equipped with an air humidifier, it is important to maintain the correct settings, reposition the humidifier water panel and damper for optimal performance. Do this and you will enjoy the whole winter in a cozy and warm place.
8. Waterproofing all concrete surfaces
All concrete surfaces outside the house and in the garage should be sealed to extend the life of the surface. In this case, you should contact a professional company offering services in this area.
9. Clean your window wells
Clean all window wells of leaves, debris, and other elements that should not be there. Put a water hose in the drain pipe for a few minutes to make sure the pipe is clean and drains properly.
11. Fertilizing the surface
There are many different types of fertilizers. Some can damage the concrete surface by penetrating the pores, causing cracking - while others stain the surface. It is important to keep all fertilizer products away from exposed concrete to avoid damaging it.
12. Taking care of tiles and granite at home
Shower and kitchen tiles are secured when installed. However, it is a good idea to re-seal them with a special impregnation, which can be purchased in a store with this type of goods. The same product can also be used to reseal granite. In case your tiled floors have not been sealed, you can use this product for this purpose and protect them from moisture.
We hope that the above tips will help you take care of your home and prepare it for the coming winter.