Safeguard Your Home From Winter's Wrath
Lots of homeowners think of wintertime as a welcome break from household projects. Truth is, your home needs just as much loving care when the weather is cold and blustery as when it's warm and sunny. So break out the tool chest, whip up some hot cocoa, and get ready for 2018 by tackling the projects in this post.
Give Your Floors Some Attention
Winter is especially tough on flooring because of the salt, snow, rain, and mud that hitches a ride on your shoes during the long months of cold weather. Here are some tips for giving your floors a needed facelift:
Clean your rugs and carpets, either by using a rented machine or having a pro tackle the job. Pay special attention to the areas near doorways, as these spots accumulate the most dirt over a year's time. Before cleaning your carpet, check its warranty (if applicable) to prevent voiding its terms.
Clean your hardwood floors. The experts at Better Homes & Gardens recommend using fresh water and a semi-damp mop head. Avoid soaking the floors, as this can damage the finish. You may want to add a little vinegar to the water for an extra clean scent. Follow the grain when mopping and start on the opposite end of the room from the doorway to avoid trapping yourself in a corner.
Here's a tip for pet owners. Use a black-light to find pee stains in carpet and treat the affected area with a product designed to eliminate urine odor. This tip can make your whole house smell fresher.
Upgrade Your Fireplace
There's nothing like a crackling fire to give your house a warm, cheery feel. But open, uncovered fireplaces suck the heat out of your home. Consider adding a set of glass doors, which can save you money while preserving the ambience you're after. A wood stove insert can turn your fireplace into an efficient heat source that can warm several rooms at once, according to the pros at This Old House.
Winterize Your Pool
Failing to prep your pool for the cold can lead to nasty surprises come spring, such as hard-to-remove stains or even cracks in the concrete lining. You'll find pool supplies for sale online or at local dealers that will prevent these problems. Using a pool cover is a good idea if your area sees sub-freezing temps during the winter.
Seal Your Doors and Windows
Nothing will send your heating bills through the roof faster than poor insulation around your doors and windows. This problem is easy to diagnose during cold, windy days. Just move a lit candle along the edges of the entryways and see if a draft disturbs or blows out the flame. Adding weatherstripping is well within the abilities of most homeowners. You should also check for drafts near your attic door and insulate as needed. Make sure your water pipes are ready for the cold as well.
Patrol Your Property
It's a good idea to walk your property after windy or stormy weather to check for loose tree branches, missing roof shingles, or other signs of damage. Blustery conditions can wreak havoc with many types of fencing. This is especially true of fences made from solid panels. Look for cracks or upheavals in concrete or asphalt surfaces, which can cause trip hazards.
Winter is sticking around for awhile; there's no doubt about that. So use the tips in this post to safeguard your home and your loved ones from its wrath. That way you'll stay warm and snug until spring heralds the return of long days and warm weather. Please accept our best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2018, and happy home owning.