You can prepare your home for winter by completing a few easy tasks. These tips and tricks for how to winterize a house will help you correct small problems to ensure no issues pop up over the long winter ahead.
1. Caulk Drafty Windows
Look for gaps or cracked caulk along window trim and trim joints. Scrape away caulk that has deteriorated between the window frame and trim with a putty knife. Clean the area and apply fresh layer. You can caulk on the outside or inside wherever you see broken caulk or detect air leaks.
2. Adjust Chilly Squeaky Doors
Tightening the hinges with a screwdriver will help realign the door and reduce drafty gaps. If air leaks persist, install new weatherstripping. To stop a hinge from squeaking, tap each hinge pin out with a screwdriver and hammer and apply lithium grease.
3. Perform Gutter Maintenance
Clean debris from your gutters and spray them out with a hose. While you’re doing that, take the opportunity to replace broken or loose gutter hangers. Installing gutter guards now will greatly reduce the need to clean them in the future.
4. Look for Siding Damage
Loose vinyl siding pieces can often be popped back into place. Use caulk to fill in any small holes that you find to prevent water or ice penetration.
5. Inspect Roof for Loose Shingles
You should scan your roof every season to ensure heavy winds haven’t caused any shingles to come loose. A homeowner who’s comfortable working on the roof can often fix loose shingles with some nails and roofing cement, or you can call PJ Fitzpatrick for help!
6. Winterize Exterior Hose Faucets
You’ll need to detach garden hoses, drain them, and put them away to prevent freezing and cracking. Older homes might have faucets unable to withstand freezing temperatures as well. For those particular faucets, disconnect the water from the inside. Close the interior valve and open the exterior faucet. You should see a bleeding cap just above the interior valve. Unscrew the cap to release the last bit of water from the pipe.
7. Check Insulation
A quick look in your attic will tell you whether you have adequate insulation or not. Fiberglass or loose cellulose insulation should cover ceiling joists. If you only have minimal insulation, installing more is an affordable improvement that will reduce heat loss and energy bills.