Since custom homes are designed to be incredibly energy-saving and safe, you’ll probably only need to do small things to get yours ready for the winter months. Still, those small tasks can make a huge difference, especially when it comes to being comfortable and cozy in your home when it gets cold outside.
Below is our definitive guide with 11 easy tasks to get your home ready for winter. Remember to schedule service with professionals now to beat the end-of-the-year rush, and so you can relax and enjoy the upcoming holiday season.
1. Clean the gutters and the roof
Have your custom home’s gutters clean by a roofing professional who can also inspect and clean the roof of any debris to make sure it’s ready for the colder months ahead. During the fall and winter seasons, fallen leaves can fill gutters and cause blockages, so that water – whether from rain or melting snow -can’t drain properly. This can lead to leaks in ceilings and walls.
2. Seal your windows
Windows in custom homes are expertly fitted to be airtight and secure. Still, it’s a good idea to check all your exterior of all the windows to make sure there aren’t any areas that need additional insulation for the colder months.
We recommend looking closely at each window, inside, on a sunny day. Check for “pinpricks” of sunlight where the window meets the seam. If you see any light through the seam, add insulation to the exterior of the window to block the small opening.
3. Finish up exterior projects
Building a treehouse for the kids? Adding more storage features in the shed? Now is the time to finish those ambitious summer projects. Once the winter weather rolls around, it will be difficult (or at least very uncomfortable) to make progress on most of them.
Of course, hanging holiday lights doesn’t count, just make sure to have a cup of hot chocolate waiting for when you’re finished.
4. Winterize the sprinkler system
Follow these four steps to get your sprinklers ready for winter. First, turn of your home’s water supply. Next, turn off your sprinkler’s timer and then drain the sprinkler system depending on your model. Lastly, insulate all above ground sprinkler components including any exposed pipes with insulation tape or foam covers.
5. Patch sidewalks and seal asphalt
Take a good look at your driveway, sidewalks and any exterior cement stairs. See any cracks or loose asphalt? If so, reach out to a paving professional who can perform any repairs before the winter months. Cold air, rain, and snow can make cracks worse, so make sure your driveway and walkways are safe for you, your family, and your holiday guests.
6. Protect outdoor furniture and tools
Keep your outdoor furniture dry with weatherproof coverings that will stay secure in wind and fully protect your furniture from the elements. This is also the time to put away garden tools. Make sure to give them a good cleaning before storing them for the winter.
7. Prep the pool
We recommend letting a pool professional clean and prepare the pool for winter. However, if you prefer to go the DIY route, start with a deep clean of the pool. Then, adjust the water chemistry before lowering the water level. Add algaecide and then cover the pool completely for the winter.
8. Drain and cover outdoor faucets
This is an easy yet critical way to protect your home’s plumbing during winter. First, shut off your home’s water supply. Disconnect all hoses and store them away. Drain the faucets and then protect them with outdoor faucet covers.
9. Clean the chimney
Although you can clean soot and other debris out of your chimney on your own, the National Fire Protection Association recommends that homeowners have their chimneys cleaned once a year by a professional chimney sweep.
Not only can chimney sweeps perform a top-to-bottom cleaning, but they can thoroughly inspect the exterior and interior of the chimney to make sure it’s in good shape. They can also make sure the chimney is safe from animals, birds, nests and anything else that could create a blockage and or fire hazard.
Bonus if your chimney sweep wears a top hat, and most still do.
10. Check your home’s heating system
Make sure to schedule an appointment with a reputable HVAC or plumbing company before it gets too cold outside. The contractor can inspect your entire heating system, from the furnace to the vents to the water heater, to ensure everything is working properly.
Remember: even though the furnace in your custom home is newer, it still needs to be serviced by a professional.
11. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
During the winter months, you’re far more likely to use features in your home that require gas or can otherwise leak carbon monoxide or cause fire damage. Don’t have a gas furnace, appliances like a gas stove, or a fireplace? You should still check your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Doing so only takes a few minutes – and it just might save your life!
The team at Classic Living Homes wants you and your family to have a wonderful winter season. Let us know if you have any questions or need more advice on how to make your custom home winter ready.