As the weather starts cooling, we at Design Homes have been thinking about how to prepare our model homes for Winter. We hope our winter routine helps you with your home.
1. Unhook Hoses From Hose Bibs
This is a common thing to overlook. Every year we get calls from homeowners about frozen pipes because they forgot to unhook their hoses. This simple task can make a big difference this winter.
2. Seal Concrete
We recommend sealing concrete in the Fall to prevent concrete from becoming saturated when the snow and cold hits. We also recommend shoveling your driveway, instead of throwing salt or calcium down. Salt and chemicals can damage concrete, brick, mortar and asphalt, and salt will kill grass, shrubs and trees.
3. Open Registers
Registers help regulate the flow of air and maintain desired temperatures.
4. Set up a Humidifier, If Needed
Humidifiers put moisture in the air, so the house doesn’t dry out. However, if your home is brand new, you may not want to turn on your humidifier during the first winter in your home. This is because there is moisture from the newness of the home. If you do use a humidifier, we suggest a range of 35-40.
5. Seal and Protect
Fall is a great time to add a water repellent sealer and preservative to your deck.
6. Adjust Exterior Doors
Most exterior doors have an adjustable threshold. This is at the bottom of the door. To check this threshold, put your head on the floor and check for light. If there is light coming through, raise or lower the threshold until you can no longer see light. This will help prevent drafts and lower your energy bill.
7. Prep Gas Fireplaces
Direct vent gas fireplaces need only a switch to turn them on and off. If they have been of for the summer, you may need to flip the switch multiple times to get the gas flowing.
8. Creaks Happen
Seasonal changes effect sounds that you may hear in your home. From floors creaking to ducts popping. This is not unusual and should be expected.
9. Check Water Paths
Walk around your home and make sure you have “positive fall” away from your home. Rule of thumb, any water that hits your house should flow away from the foundation to a swale, street, etc. If water collects by your home, add dirt or mulch to get water away from the foundation. Failure to do so makes your sump pump work harder and lessens its lifespan.
10. Condensation, and How to Stop It
Every winter, we get calls concerning moisture on the windows. 99% of these calls are nothing more than condensation that is formed when the dew point reaches a certain level and water molecules collect on the glass. This is where you need to be aware of the humidity levels in your home. If your humidity levels are in the 40’s or higher you may need a de-humidifier to take some of the water out of the air. Here are a few ways to help with window condensation.
- Raise your blinds! You need to let the warm are get to the inside of the windows.
- Turn your paddle fans on to move the warm air around.
- Use your bath fans and shut the door while you are showering. By doing these you can lessen the amount of condensation on your windows.
11. Irrigation System
If you have one, contact a professional to turn it off and have the water blown out of it. this is inexpensive and not doing so will result in frozen busted pipes.
We at Design Homes hope you have a great Fall and we hope these tips will help you get the most out of your home!
Image by David Bartus via Pexels (copyright-free)