You may not like the bitter winter cold but for your house, this season is the hardest to survive. In fact, the biggest structural damage your home suffers occurs during winter as the snow and cold take their toll on the unprepared house. Luckily, there are home improvements that can help you get through winter without any major repairs. Regulating the temperature inside and insulating the walls are just some of the measures you can apply to winter out this snowy season.
Insulating the unusual spots
You probably know all about the importance of insulating the walls of your house. However, it is equally important to invest in insulating the less probably areas of your home. For instance, insulating the basement is not a waste of money since a cold basement will literally drain all the heat from the rooms above.
Furthermore, the hot water pipes that run through the basement can benefit from insulation as well. The last thing you need is lukewarm water reaching your heating bodies when the temperature outside plummets below minus 20 degrees Centigrade. Metal is not very good insulation so even a thin layer of foam around the hot water pipes can help reduce waste of energy.
Finally, insulating the attic is also a great move. You don’t of this space as an energy-inefficient area because the roof is slanted. However, a roof without proper insulation underneath will give out warm air that is generated below. This will cool down the house, especially the upper floor where the nursery and the bedrooms are located.
Disconnecting the garden tap
Just like the hot water pipes in the basement, every meter of piping that is not going to be used during winter and that lacks proper insulation should not be used. This is easier said than done, as homeowners forget to disconnect the garden tap, for instance. They turn it off in September or October and completely about it until springtime comes. However, as temperatures hit their yearly low, the water inside freezes over, increasing the risk of a pipe bursting.
Instead of closing off the garden tap, be sure to disconnect it all together so there is no water inside the pipes underground. The same should be done with other outdoor water features, like a provisional kitchen. As far as swimming pools and splash pads are concerned, they should only be fully emptied but covered with a plastic sheet to prevent the show from accumulating inside them.
Cement rendering the walls
Having mentioned the swimming pool, it is worth noting that its inner walls are much more reliant to cold than the walls of your house. The main reason for this is that cavity insulation can only provide protection against cold air to a certain point.
A much better solution is rendering the walls with cement. This method will not only weatherproof the walls (subzero temperatures included,) but it will increase the overall aesthetic appeal of the house. If you have already used this method to treat your walls, then perform the necessary cement rendering repairs before the onset of winter.
If your children ask you if the chimney stack is clear for Santa to come down, don’t take this question as a joke. In the best Christmas spirit, be sure to actually look up the chimney. Namely, it needs to be cleaned because you are going to fire up the hearth once again and if there is anything stuck inside the shaft, all sorts of problems can occur. Even if the chimney is unobstructed, it still needs to be cleaned for the inside so call the local chimney sweeper to the rescue. Finally, check the kitchen hood and all the other air vents, as they should all be ready for the winter season.
Inspect the house for openings
In the end, one final checkup will get you ready for the holiday season. Get outside and walk around the house inspecting it in the process for holes, cracks, and openings. You might find out that there is a draft coming from under the windows or that the corner roof tile is missing. These are easy fixes but if you fail to perform them, you could be in trouble after the first snowfall.
If you notice a chilly breeze sweeping through the house but you have ruled out the window area as the likely culprit, turn to the front door. Its bottom section is often disproportion to the size of the frame so a gap several millimeters wide can appear. You could never tell it existed during summer but in winter you’ll need to get a rubber gasket to cover this minuscule opening that cold winds can still get through.
Getting through winter is not easy as it’s the most challenging season of the year for your home. However, a couple of home improvements listed here will help turn the tide around and ensure you spend the snowy January in the comfort of your warm home.