We’ve all heard the old saying: “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”—and it’s particularly true regarding your pre-winter home improvement projects. Here in Maine, winter brings great joy to everyone who loves skiing, skating, sledding, snowshoeing and more. But Old Man Winter can also do damage to your house. So we recommend you tackle these 5 home improvement projects before those “winter weather advisories” set in!
Protect Pipes from Freezing
The pipes in your home can be vulnerable to freezing in frigid weather. This can lead to tremendous headaches and a serious hit to your wallet. Prevent freeze ups from happening by making sure your water lines are carefully protected, with insulation specifically designed for plumbing. Also, disconnect all outdoor hoses and completely drain all outdoor faucets. For additional detailed information on how to prevent water pipes from freezing, consult this helpful article from Consumer Reports.
Weather-Strip Windows & Doors
An astonishing amount of a home’s heat is lost through cracks or gaps around doors and windows, some studies say as high as 20 percent! The result is a less-than-optimally warm house and a less-than-optimally robust bank account. So take one smart step against heat and money loss by placing weather stripping around those leaky doors and windows.
Check Your Heating System
Whether you heat with a pellet stove, a conventional furnace, or something else, it’s critical to ensure that your heating system is in its most efficient working order. Many Maine homeowners insist on doing this in late autumn, then again in mid-winter. If you’re the DIY type and are confident you know what you are doing, you may be able to handle this on your own. But for most homeowners there is a much-needed peace of mind and potential long-term cost savings in contacting an accredited HVAC professional.
Clean Out Drains & Gutters
Ice backups can cause serious leaks in your roof at exactly the worst time of year, which is why it’s imperative to unblock drains and gutters before winter arrives. Be sure to take the time to remove leaves, dirt, and twigs from drains, gutters, and off from your roof. After you’ve completed the task, pour water through your downspouts to make sure you have unobstructed water flow-through.
Show Your Lawn Some Love
During the late autumn, give your lawn the TLC it deserves. Be sure to regularly mow it, up to the time when it cannot grow anymore. Rake leaves and grass clippings, to provide grass with maximum exposure to the sun. Finally, be sure to mulch around flowers and plants, to protect roots against the harsh exposure of winter.