Winter in Michigan can be cold and harsh. Luckily, your home offers a warm haven for you and your family to escape to. Winter can be a beautiful time, but the weather can wreak havoc on your home. Whether you enjoy the snow or prefer to stay in, there are several things you can do to prepare your home for the winter.
Clean Gutters and Flue Systems
Gutter systems can build up debris, like leaves and twigs, over the warm months. It’s important to clean the debris out so that melting snow and ice can flow freely through gutters. Snow and ice can also weigh a lot. You don’t want extra weight added to the snow and ice in the winter months and risk pulling down your gutters. Cleaning out your gutters before winter hits is a great way to ensure they work properly throughout the winter.
If your home has a fireplace it is important to inspect its flue system before beginning to use it. Flue systems can become covered in soot and creosote. Freeing the system of any blockages can help avoid any fire hazards. Be sure to inspect all parts of your fireplaces from the flue system to the damper. Check for blockages, drafts, or rust.
Clean or Replace your Furnace Air Filter
In the winter it is important to have the best air quality possible in your home. Unlike in the summer, you won’t be opening windows to circulate in new air. There is also a chance that a storm could leave you stuck inside for a few days. Knowing this, it’s important to clean out or change the air filter in your furnace. This is also a great time to install or check the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and clean your air vents.
Seal Windows and Doors
One of the biggest losses of heat from your home is your windows and doors. Checking your windows and doors early on for drafts can help you save heat and money. Purchasing new windows and doors can be extremely helpful for older homes but there plenty of other options too. You can check if the weather stripping needs to be replaced, caulk around seals, or simply cover them with plastic.
Put Away Summer
Preparing for winter also means saying goodbye to summer and fall. Cleaning up your yard from all the fun summer activities is important. Put away or put covers on your lawn furniture and grill. Shut off outdoor faucets or spigots to avoid frozen pipes. Take air conditioning units out of windows or put covers on permanent units. Take down and store any yard decorations that will not withstand the snow and wind. You don’t want to have to pick them out of the snow in the middle of a storm.
Prepare for Water Drainage
One of the most overlooked parts of preparing for winter is the winter melt. Once it snows, it’s too late to prepare for the snow that will soon be melting next to and on top of your home. Preparing for the water the spring thaw will bring is important. The grade of the dirt around your home should slope away from it. This keeps the water from sitting against your home or seeping into it. Water can rot and damage your home. Keeping as much water as possible away from your home is best.
Check Your Roof and Insulation
Your roof is the main protector keeping you warm and dry this winter. Before the cold hits take a look and make sure it is still properly intact. Check for any loose shingles, leaks, or damage. Roof problems are much easier to take care of in warm months than in snow.
Before you start spending tons of money on heating your home, check your homes insulation. It may be time for new insulation. Check the insulation in your attic, walls, basement, crawl space, and rim joist. New insulation can help you save on heating costs and keep your home much warmer.
Preparing your home for winter can save you lots of money and hassle. With your home taken care of you can enjoy the winter, whether from inside your cozy home or outside in the beautiful snow. At Engelsma Homes we are committed to the satisfaction of our clients. We can help you get the home of your dreams to enjoy any time of year, including the cold winter months. To learn more checkout our gallery of previous builds, our website, or contact us at (616) 453-3212!