Your home and your wallet will thank you immensely for taking the time for weatherization this season. There may be some upfront costs, but you will reap the benefits of possible energy savings, lower utility bills and avoiding costly repairs come spring. This series is for homeowners, landlords and renters, the young and the old. In Part I, we will take a look at some of the ways to prepare the exterior of your home for winter that will save you money.
Renters, don’t go anywhere! You will also benefit from learning how much care and maintenance really goes into owning a home. With the help of Bob Vila, we have highlighted a few weatherization items to prepare your home for winter.
Exterior Weatherization Checklist
Shut off Exterior Faucets
Drain water from outdoor pipes, valves, and sprinkler heads. This simple step can prevent pipes from bursting which can be a very costly and inconvenient repair. This weatherization task will save you money and is free to complete.
Trim Overgrown Branches
Get overgrown branches away from the house and electrical wires to prevent iced-over or wind-swept branches from causing property damage. Trimming branches will also look good to your neighbors and potential buyers. You may need to hire a professional tree service company, but you will still be rewarded in savings by taking preventative weatherization measures.
Ensure rain or snow drains away from the house to avoid foundation problems. The dirt grade should slope away from the house. Add extra dirt to low areas, as necessary. Foundation or structural repairs can be extremely costly, leading to a variety of other problems. Keep your basement dry and foundation looking good.
Check the Gutters & Downspouts
Re-secure gutters or downspouts if loose or sagging. The weight of snow and ice can pull gutters off the house. Make sure downspouts extend away from the house by at least 5 feet to prevent flooding of the foundation and water damage from snowmelt. Another smart weatherization chore that saves money and increases safety.
Repair Peeling Paint
Peeling paint is more than just an eyesore. The paint acts as a moisture barrier for your home. When it’s compromised, damage can ensue. Keep your home sealed to avoid future expenses.
Save Money, Add Safety
Is it really that important to do all these things? The answer is absolutely! Not only will you have the chance to lower utility bills, you will add value to your home and keep it safe for you and your family. Most of the weatherization checklist above costs little to no money but does require your time and attention. Schedule some of these tasks across a few weeks so that it won’t be overwhelming to complete. If you are not able to do the work yourself, make sure to include the expense in your budget. Saving all year round to cover the costs will take away the burden of trying to pay for extra, unexpected expenses all at once. If you need help with your budget, ACCC has several resources for you.
Tune in next week when we lay down the necessities of interior weatherization and dispel some myths about heat loss.
View Bob Vila’s entire weatherization list by clicking here.