Up on the blog today we have Paul Denikin from Dad Knows DIY with tips on getting your home ready for Winter. This is especially important here in Philadelphia since we are subject to some pretty extreme temperatures. Don't worry. We will be back with your Interior Design Tips next week.
Winter is a lovely time of year. Soon the weather forecast will be calling for snow, and it’s the season you get to bring out the sweaters, scarves, comfy blankets, and hot cocoa. It’s also the season for making sure that your home is ready for winter. Spending time on maintenance now will save you more time and money in costly future repairs. Here are some tips for winterizing your home inside and out.
First, you should do a thorough cleaning of your home to prepare for cold weather. This includes deep cleaning carpets and dusting baseboards, vacuuming upholstery and furnace vents, and washing drapes. Replace your AC and furnace filters and have your furnace and chimney inspected and cleaned. Clean your windows inside and out, checking for leaks that might need caulking. Clean or replace window screens. All these measures will let the sun warm your home better and keep indoor air freshener.
Check your dryer vent for lint and inspect hoses to all major appliances. These may need to be replaced every two to three years. Clean your ceiling fan blades and reverse the spin direction for cold air. In the kitchen, deep clean your refrigerator and stove. Toss any expired items in your pantry and refrigerator, and vacuum the coils on the back of the fridge after turning off the power to it. Clean under your fridge and stove as well, to deter pests from making homes there. Wash burner plates, stove hood and coils with soapy water. In the attic, look for any daylight that might be coming from small holes or leaks that need repair, and check that your insulation is sufficient. Finally, check or replace batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
Checking for holes and leaks outside your home can help you spot problems early, before they become bigger and expensive. You will want to walk around on your roof, or hire a professional to do so, looking for ripped or missing roofing tiles. Also check your siding for missing pieces that need replacement. If your home exterior is wooden, see if it needs repainting. Check weather stripping on doors and all concrete areas for cracks that need sealing or repair to prevent water damage from freezing and thawing. See if you need to pressure wash your siding, driveway and sidewalk. Clean your gutters and downspouts or hire a professional to do so. According to Angie’s List, professionals charge between $125 - $175 for gutter cleaning.
Inspect your patio or deck for any sealant needs and clean your patio furniture and grill before storing them for winter. Clean any natural stone or wooden patio, walkway and deck surfaces. Check your fence for any spots that might need repair. Prune back trees and bushes to keep limbs from falling during bad weather. You’ll also want to clean out your garage, and this may be a good time to give your car a cleaning as well. Make sure you use the right vacuum to get the job done.
Preventing Frozen Pipes
One of the major home expenses that might occur in winter is a water pipe leak. This can be prevented if you know what to do. First, leave the heat on if you’re going to be gone for an extended period. Keeping your thermostat set to at least 50 degrees will help keep temperatures from falling too low to keep pipes warm. Also, open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warm air to get to the pipes underneath your sinks. Consider insulating any easily accessible pipes that are in exterior or unheated areas (basement, attic, crawlspace, etc.). You can also add insulating domes to outside water spigots and faucets to reduce freezing and expanding. Finally, keep a faucet open on a slow drip to reduce the chances of frozen pipes. The sink furthest away from the source of water entry into your home is the best one for this.
All these measures take a little effort, but they’re more than worth it when your home is well protected and ready for winter. Spending the time now means that you’ll be less likely to have a major, expensive problem later. So focus on these tips and then sit back, relax, and enjoy your cocoa knowing that you’re ready for cold weather and your home is too.
About the Interior Designer
Tina Delia, a native of Ocean County, NJ, current resident of Philadelphia, is the Founder and Principal Interior Designer of Delia Designs. For the past nine years, Tina has been steadfast in her vision and continues to develop herself personally and professionally. She is dedicated to excellence and insistence on forward thinking design. At the forefront of her designs is the idea that our spaces have the ability to transform our lives. She is looking to move us, inspire us to see, think and create freely. After all, it's not only about creating beautiful spaces.