Weather The Winter With These Winter-proofing Home Tips

Warm up your home without the thermostat
Warm up your home without the thermostat

After some mild fooling around, winter’s finally here for real. We’re never surprised by the cold, but we know winter can also deliver incredibly harsh storms that cost a serious amount of cash to repair, and wreak havoc on your home. As the days get progressively colder – there are few things more comforting than being able to retreat into the warmth of your home. However, having this spoiled by a sudden property emergency can lead to serious problems. Planning ahead today can be a good way to ensure you remain protected against future problems.

Here are some simple ways to avoid the winter blues and keep your home defended as the temperature starts to drop.

1. Remember Routine Roof Maintenance

The chances are you don’t want to come home from a hard day of work and clean out the gutters – but a little bit of routine maintenance can actually do a great deal of good for your home. Start by checking the roof for missing or cracked tiles that might allow rain or snow to seep through and cause rot or damp. If you don’t want to climb up there yourself – you can always have us come and do the check for you.

While you’re at it, make sure to clear all drains and gutters of any leaves, debris, and plants which can lead to a buildup of water in the system. Clearing these spaces out is crucial if you want to protect your home from water damage – and you should also ensure the gutter junctions are tight too!

2. Make Sure Your Home Is Properly Insulated

Dedicating some time to properly insulating your home can be beneficial not only for your comfort and family health over the winter months – but also for the health of your wallet. The right insulation can reduce the amount of heat your home regularly loses, meaning that you are more likely to cut down on household bills, and conserve that much-needed energy. When it comes to insulating, the loft is usually a good place to start, as you can lose anywhere up to 25% of the heat in your house through the roof without the right loft insulation.

You can also consider cavity wall insulation if it’s suitable for your property, and don’t forget to take time to insulate the water tank too.

3. Double-Check Doors And Windows

If your windows and doors aren’t in great shape, then you could be letting rain water, snow, and cold air into your home on a regular basis. This means it might be a good idea to ensure that everything is air-tight now – so that you can carry out repairs before the problem grows to be too significant. Remember to check the woodwork outside of your house as well – even on the upper floors of the house – around the windowsills, for damage or rot.

4. Insulate Your Pipes

If you have un-insulated water pipes throughout your attic, or crawlspace, it’s a good idea to insulate them before the winter hits. Aside from simply helping you to avoid the pain of frozen pipes – which can lead to serious damage and bursting – insulation also helps to prevent condensation and keep the water in hot-water lines at a good temperature. Many hardware stores are packed with foam tubes that you can install yourself – or you can easily contact a home-improvement or DIY provider to do the renovations for you.

5. Take Prompts From The Snow

Even a light spattering of snow can be enough to assist you in finding maintenance issues that you might struggle to notice otherwise. Try going outside after snow has fallen and watching how it melts. If you see numerous strips of bare roof between lines of snow – the chances are that you’re dealing with inadequate insulation.

If you regularly notice that icicles form rapidly when the weather isn’t even warm enough to melt the snow – this could mean that warm air is circulating in the attic – meaning that a leak needs sealing, or the insulation is too thin.

How do you look after your home during the winter months? Do you have any winter-proofing tips that can help fight off the chill this year? Let us know in the comments!

Top Six Home Maintenance Mistakes People Make

top-six-home-maintenance-mistakes-people-make-grennan-constructionA home is probably the biggest asset people will own in their lifetime, next to their vehicle.  Like a car, your home requires a certain amount of maintenance over the years to ensure that it will proper withstand weather conditions, general living wear and tear and to keep up its value.  Without proper care, it is easy to see how a house can simply fall apart and not properly function like it is supposed to.  Again, just like a car.

Here are the top six common home maintenance mistakes that people make.

Home Maintenance Mistake #1: Forgetting to Unclog Gutters.
Gutter maintenance is a really common overlooked maintenance task for many homeowners.  It’s out of sight and out of mind for many homeowners.  Gutters channel water away from your home’s roof and foundation.  If you neglect to properly maintain your gutters, it can lead to roof leaks and problems with the foundation.  It’s important to clean out your gutters for any clogs or backups at least twice a year.  If you don’t want to do this on your own, you can hire a professional to help you unclog your gutters and check for any leaks or deterioration of your gutters.

 

Home Maintenance Mistake #2: Neglecting Dusting Duty.
Another common home maintenance mistake that people make is neglecting the battle with dirt and dust.  Many people will take care of the obvious dirt or dust that they see visibly on a table or counter, but what about the dirt you can’t see?  It’s important to change your air conditioning and heater filters regularly as they can build up dirt and dust, preventing proper air flow and energy efficiency.  Additionally, cleaning the coils on the refrigerator is also advised to prevent premature breakdown and help keep down energy costs to keep your food cool.  Dirt and dust also breaks down carpet fibers, causing increased wear and tear.  You can help the battle with the dirt by placing doormats outside all doors and vacuuming carpet once or twice a week, especially if you have any pets.

 

Home Maintenance Mistake #3: Ignoring Leaks.
Plumbing leaks are probably the most costly of all of the mistakes, because ignoring even the seemingly smallest and “most harmless” water leak can eventually compound over time and result in a very expensive repair (or replacement) cost.  From damage to laminate flooring, carpet, roofing, drywall, cabinets, insulation and unseen structural supports (such as wall studs or floor joists)—water leaks and damage caused by water need to be addressed right away.  Ignoring these leaks can also prove deadly if mold and mildew start to develop.

 

Home Maintenance Mistake #4: Filling Grout Gaps.
The purpose of grout isn’t aesthetic.  The purpose of grout is to seal gaps between floor tiles.  If you have a gap in grout, you shouldn’t ignore them or simply fill them.  Gaps in grout mean that moisture is already starting to get through the grout and mold or mildew growth, plus potential water damage, is already a risk.  The best way to handle any gaps in grout is to clean out and remove any old grout and seal the gap with brand new grout.

 

Home Maintenance Mistake #5: Let Paint Chip and Peel Off.
Neglecting paint that is chipping or peeling is never a good idea.  Cracks in the paint expose drywall or exterior wood surfaces.  This means that water is penetrating the surfaces underneath the paint, which will cause further damage and only worsen the cracking and peeling paint.  If you spot any paint peeling or chipping off, remove any loose paint from the surface, repair any damage, prime with a coat of primer and then repaint.

 

Home Maintenance Mistake #6: Disregard Foggy Windows.
If you ever notice foggy windows, it’s a potential sign that the seal of the window is broken and may need replacing. Disregarding foggy windows may result in added heating and cooling expenses, so be sure to replace the seal as soon as possible.

Owning a home is a big responsibility and it doesn’t make sense to neglect your home.  Some neglect their home to save money, but as you can see, some of these home maintenance mistakes result in added expense (and headaches!).  If you properly maintain your home, you will help save on a lot of unnecessary repairs and expenses, including additional energy costs to run an improperly maintained home.

This post is brought to you by the good folks at Grennan Construction, a family owned and operated company since 1998.  We specialize in roofing, siding, windows, insulation, gutters and chimney repairs. We would love to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

Photo Credit: renjith krishnan via freedigitalphotos.net