This is a guest post by Paul Denikin who blogs at dadknowsdiy.com. Paul Denikin enjoys working on DIY home repair projects. He learned to navigate the world of DIY while raising a child with special needs.
Even if you live in a place with milder winters where extreme cold isn’t a huge issue, the season can still bring a significant amount of moisture. Wet winters can wreak havoc on homes if you go into them unprepared. Here is some essential home prep you must get ahead on if you want to stay dry and save time and money this wet winter.
Give your gutters the attention they deserve
When fall hits, your gutters will be inundated with falling leaves. And when that wet winter comes, they will be working overtime diverting water away from your roof and foundation. Very few home prep tasks can do more to keep you dry than a proper gutter cleaning. Make sure you tackle this at the end of summer, before the leaves fall. If you live in a place where you have to deal with a lot of leaves, pine needles, and precipitation, it may be worth it to look into gutter guards.
Even if you don’t have time yourself, it’s a job that is easily (and cheaply) outsourced. According to HomeAdvisor, the average price to clean gutters and downspouts is $142 – $259 and the project timeline is around 6 hours.
Dry up the basement
A wet basement in the winter is something many of us have to deal with. There are some things you can do right now, however, to dry up your basement as much as possible.
The easiest thing is to fill gaps and cracks around your plumbing with caulk. The next step is to make sure your drains are unclogged. While the weather is still nice, you can take some time and install french drains around your home, which will carry water away from your foundation. They are quite DIY-friendly (here is a guide). For more tips on keeping that basement dry, check here.
Treat your wood
Even mild, wet winters can do a lot of damage to the wood around your property if you don’t take steps to treat it right. This includes decks, patios, and fencing. Waterproofing wood is pretty easy, and there are plenty of commercial-grade sealants on the market that require fewer than three coats to completely seal your wood. If you want to take a more Earth-friendly, natural approach there are methods you can try – but they are unlikely to be as effective as a chemical sealer.
Seal your portals
Mild winters are still winters, and with rainy weather comes wind and cooler temperatures. You may not realize how much heat you’re losing through your portals – your windows and doors. You may not even feel a draft. But it never hurts to seal your portals if for no other reason than to save money on your heating costs. Weatherstripping works, but for a better seal use caulk on window edges. For doors with large gaps at the floor level, you may want to invest in a draft stopper strip. You can DIY these, if you want.
When we think about winter prep we usually think of preventing pipes from freezing, cleaning chimneys for fires, and turning off outside water sources. This is all important if you are expecting a very cold season, but for some, winter means only cool temps and a lot of rain. Trying to prep your home for a wet winter once it’s already begun is beyond tedious. Don’t play catch up. Take the time today to make sure you’re ready.