Fall is Here: Prepare Your House With These 5 Easy Tips
It’s late September, and fall has finally arrived in Seattle. The leaves are changing color and the weather is turning from mostly sunny to mostly rainy in stereotypical Seattle fashion. Weather analyses by Cliff Mass are already showing that fall is off to an unseasonably chilly start. Reports show that temperatures are “10 degrees below normal” and he suspects “we have a very active winter ahead.” Last year, the Seattle region was home to some unusually large snowfall. Residents could see something similar this year if the below-average temperatures continue.
After having experienced the snow, rain, and colder temperatures of last year, homeowners might be wondering what they can do to prepare their properties for the fall and winter. Seattle-area homes were not built for extreme temperatures as they have been historically quite rare. Therefore, homeowners would be well-advised to consider these five tips keep their homes safe and
energy-efficient during the fall and winter seasons.
Cheaply Seal Your Drafty Windows
Drafty, single-pane windows are a common problem in Seattle. Insulation and tight seals were not a priority for construction in this region like a home in, say, Minnesota. The cracks in your house waste heating energy and cause chilly nights for homeowners.
Fortunately, you don’t have to replace the entire window. Window inserts are a great way to solve your draft problems. These inserts are custom fitted to your window and are a combination of vinyl and foam. They block air gaps, reduce condensation, and keep the heat in longer. If your house has any of those problems in the winter, consider buying some window inserts.
Ensure Gutters and Downspouts Are Clean
If your eaves troughs and downspouts are clogged, water will overflow and collect near your house. This water will then seep into the crawl space or basement, causing all sorts of potential structural issues. It might be a pain to inspect everything, but doing so once a year can save you thousands of dollars in problems.
Protect Your Pipes
If your pipes aren’t insulated, they probably should be. Insulation can prevent cold pipes from freezing during the winter, and hot pipes from losing too much heat. Frozen pipes can burst, potentially causing substantial flood damage. Water pipes in the crawl space or attic are particularly susceptible to freezing and should be protected if they are not already.
Use A Door Sweep
A door sweep is a “flexible piece of rubber or plastic that’s held to the door’s lower edge by a strip of aluminum”. In essence, it plugs the gap between
your door and the floor, thereby reducing a source of energy loss during the
winter. This enhancement is a quick, low-cost way to improve your home’s
Have Common Disaster Supplies Handy
Have flashlights, food, water, extra batteries, and other standard disaster supplies handy. If you cannot (or don’t want to) get out of your home for a few days due to the snow, having these things handy will make things easier. Snow and rain can cause the power to go out for 24 hours or more, which makes having these supplies essential.
None of the above tips require a substantial amount of time, money, or effort. While the winter in Seattle is nothing like other parts of the country, homes in this region were also not designed with temperature extremes in mind. By keeping these tips in mind, you will provide longevity to your home and withstand the winter, no matter how good or bad it may be!
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