Winter is right around the corner, ready to wrap your home and property in a frosty embrace. The winter season means long, dark nights, ice and snow, and freezing temperatures, which means you must do all you can to properly winterize your home.
There are many winterization projects you may need to undertake. Do you have the time and expertise to do it yourself (DIY)? Or should you hire a pro? In evaluating whether or not you should hire a pro, you have to take your own particular circumstances into account. Are you living in a new home and don’t exactly feel confident on how to properly winterize? Are you getting up in years? Are you afraid you’ll strain your back even further? The following is some advice on how to judge for yourself when to DIY or hire a pro regarding certain home winterization projects.
When mulling whether to hire a pro to winterize your home, you should do as much research as possible on each winterization project you want to undertake. By reading up on how-to articles, checking out YouTube videos, and asking friends or neighbors any questions, you can figure out for yourself whether you can DIY the winterization project in question.
Though you may be eager to save money, if you’re a bit wet under the ears regarding home winterization, you want to make sure you do the job right. Judge the risk of undertaking each project against your own safety and that of the long-term functioning of your home. For example, certain projects, such as checking whether your gas heater is working correctly, will require the eye and hand of a professional, since it’s never a good idea to have an amateur mess around with your home’s gas system.
The Pros of Hiring a Contractor
Hiring a pro has its perks. The job you assign him to do would take up minimal time, whereas it would take you much, much longer. Also the outcome of a pro’s work is likelier to be successful, which is the whole point of doing the job in the first place. If you’re still uncertain as to whether to hire a pro or not, call some professionals and ask a lot of good questions about the project. Getting in-depth answers to your questions, and later taking the time to digest the information, will help you recognize how big of a job you’re thinking about undertaking, and whether the quoted price seems reasonable.
Essential Winterization Projects to Undertake
Here are a few winterization projects you should definitely consider if you want your home to survive the winter in good shape.
Winterize Your Garden
Cover your garden with burlap to help protect your plants from the worst effects of the winter, such as wind damage. In addition, find a good winterizer. Winterizers are fertilizers that help your lawn deal with the stress of cold weather. Similar to lawn food, winterizers specifically help plants strengthen roots during the cold seasons of the year.
Winterize Exterior Faucets and Sprinkler Systems
Pipes can freeze and burst when the outdoor temperature drops to below freezing. Drain your exposed outdoor faucets and wrap these in insulating foam or towel covers held in place by a bungee cord. Do the same for your indoor faucets, allowing for a small trickle of water to come out of each faucet. The constant movement of water keeps the pipes from freezing. Also make sure to drain water from your garden hoses and sprinkler or irrigation systems to prevent cracking and freezing.
Add Insulation to Your Garage
Keep cold winter air out of your garage by adding a layer of insulation material to your garage walls. You can use traditional insulation or spring for the latest modern spray foam that serves as an effective barrier against the shivering-inducing temps.
Getting your home ready for the winter may seem daunting but is necessary. Whether you end up DIYing most or all of your winterization projects, or end up hiring a pro to handle some of these, the point is you’re looking to avoid any costly accidents like burst pipes. By following our advice above, you should have a reasonably good idea as to how best to prepare your home for the long, cold winter.