When winter hits, your home needs to be ready to protect you and your family from the elements. Getting a home ready for winter will ideally start in the fall or even the summer, and real estate agents’ insights about home maintenance show that thinking ahead has a big payoff. Whether you are trying to get your home ready in winter or are planning ahead, these are the home improvement projects to consider outside your home. Focusing on a few projects before storms hit can ensure that your home will be ready for any weather situation. 

Clear gutters

Your home’s gutters have an important job to protect it from storms. By collecting rainwater they divert it away from your roof and your home’s foundation to prevent water damage. When gutters get clogged they can’t do their job and this can lead to a major repair job. With water damage as one of the biggest issues that can hinder your home sale, it’s one to pay attention to. Cleaning gutters after fall leaf drop and after a major storm can keep rainwater draining easily. 

Refresh insulation and weather stripping

A warm home is a comfortable home in winter, and aside from ensuring your HVAC system is working well, checking your home’s insulation can help keep the heat in. Exterior doors and windows are the key areas to check for adequate insulation. If you feel a draft or notice weather-stripping areas that are cracked, or missing, head to your nearest home improvement store to replace this insulation.  

Remove window screens and clean your windows

If you live in a part of the country where snow is on the winter forecast, then removing screens can further prepare your home’s windows to face winter. The next step is to clean your windows to maximize lighting and to eliminate mold or other dirt and debris. Cleaning windows at the start of winter and in the spring can maximize their lifespan and make your home more presentable if you are thinking about putting it on the market. 

Insulate pipes

When the temperature dips, your home’s pipes may freeze if they aren’t insulated. Outdoor pipes — such as those connected to your garden hose — are the most susceptible to freezing as are pipes by windows, doors, or in areas of your home which may be colder — such as your garage. One frozen pipe can damage your entire home’s plumbing system, and insulating pipes can prevent this problem. For garden hoses, drain them, and then remove them from the spigot. Then turning off the water supply to outdoor faucets that you won’t be using in winter is another easy fix. For indoor pipes, there are many options for insulating them, such as tubular foam or pipe wrap. An added benefit of insulating your pipes is that you could also reduce your energy bill.   

Getting your home winter-ready requires some planning, but the payoff is a warm home and lower expenses.


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