Here’s another seasonal tip from our co-writer Paul Denikin from Dad Knows DIY. Use these tips in your own home or pass on the the seller and their agent. They will appreciate these low-cost tips to maintain property value.
Think you’re safe from cold weather woes because you’ve been lucky so far? You might want to think again. Winter is a sneaky rascal that can clobber you when you least expect it. So play it safe by using these home winterization tips.
Cover Those Spigots
Outside spigots are especially vulnerable to freezing temperatures, according to House Logic. The easiest way to protect these fixtures is to use an insulated cover that you can pick up for as little as $2. This is a bargain indeed when you consider that a burst pipe can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Film Up Your Windows
Windows are one of the most common sources of heat loss. Caulking the edges can help, but so can window film, which adds an extra insulating layer to glass surfaces. All you need is the film itself (easy to find at most general retailers) and a hairdryer. This small investment of time and money can yield big savings on your utility bills.
Got a Pond? Net It
Miniature ponds and water features are great for adding beauty and value to your property. But did you know that leaves and other debris can harm fish and other aquatic life when it decomposes in the water? You can prevent these problems by stretching a protective net over the water’s surface. You can also use an electric or solar de-icer to prevent hard freezes and give fish constant access to aerated water, according to The Spruce.
Get Your Chimney Inspected
This is one project best left to the pros. According to HomeAdvisor, average costs for a chimney or fireplace inspection in the US range between $132-$321, with a typical completion time of three hours.This is a small price to pay for a measure that could save not only your home, but your life. For example, these are the highest-rated chimney sweeps in New Orleans, check out your local service providers from Home Advisor.
Advice for Snowbirds and Other Travelers
Lots of people travel during the fall and winter. Here are some tips for making sure your home stays safe and sound while you’re away:
- Keep the furnace at a minimum setting of 55 degrees to help prevent frozen pipes.
- You may want to shut off the water supply if you’ll be away for an extended time. Turn off the faucets leading to your washer in either case.
- Check your trees for sagging or broken limbs. Have a landscaper remove damaged branches, as doing the job yourself could expose you to injury.
- Set up a webcam so you can check on things while you’re away. New apps and falling hardware prices make this easier than ever.
- Stop mail delivery or have a trusted friend pick up your post for you.
- Set your lights on an automated timer so your home stays lit after dark.
When to Call a Pro
We’ve already mentioned the importance of having a professional handle chimney inspection and tree trimming tasks. Here’s when it’s best to call a pro for other jobs:
- If the job involves specialized knowledge and/or equipment. Some home maintenance tasks require years of training and experience to handle safely. Electrical work is a perfect example.
- If you’re unsure of your health or physical abilities. Risking life and limb to save a few bucks is rarely wise.
- If doing the work yourself could compromise your homeowners coverage. Some insurers will deny claims if a DIYer failed to obtain permits or exercise other common safeguards.
Winter is a harsh, sometimes dangerous season, but it also has it charms. Use the tips in this post to prepare for its wrath, then relax and enjoy the well-deserved comforts of a warm, safe, well-maintained home.