The cold has come again! While living in Vermont comes with the picturesque Winter wonderland effect from December through March, we want to highlight what comes with the gorgeous snow. The end of the holiday season not only brings a rush of excitement and cheer, but several weather-related problems you’ll want to gear up for as soon as the harsh winter winds are in full effect. Today we’ll take a look at some easy and essential steps everyone should take to get their home prepared, if you haven’t already.
The first, and maybe easiest, step you can take to get your home prepped is insulating the windows. Drafty air leaking through your window will keep you cold and keep your energy bill high all Winter long. “But by reducing drafts you can lower your home’s energy costs by up to 20% per year, according to the U.S. Energy Department, while also making your living space more comfortable.” (House Logic) There are several simple ways to insulate your windows without spending too much money. A no-hassle solution is getting a draft snake to place along the bottom of the window. This will block the cold from coming in through any leaks along the bottom of the sill. For a more effective solution, apply shrink film to the entirety of the window with double-sided tape and use a hairdryer to seal it up. This is a sure-fire way to keep the cold out. It is important to note that when removing the tape, you should use rubbing alcohol to make sure the paint on the window frame doesn’t get peeled off.
If your home features a gas or wood-burning fireplace to keep you cozy on Winter evenings, you should schedule an inspection as soon as possible to make sure the system is working well before firing it up. This will ensure your fireplace is both functional and safe for all residents of the dwelling. If you live in Chittenden County, we recommend using Fireside Gas and Chimney Service, LLC. On top of getting your fireplace inspected, if you own a wood burning, it’s time to order the firewood for the season. Make sure there’s a cleared off and covered area outside your home to store the wood. The last thing you want on a chilly night is to have a roaring fire halted by damp wood.
Any overhanging trees on the exterior of your home? Be sure to trim the branches to avoid a disaster when heavy snow is falling and adds weight to those trees. Nothing ruins a crisp Vermont day quicker than a tree branch crashing into the side of your home. It should be noted that trimming the branches on overhanging trees can be a dangerous job. Some beginner tips include: making sure your ladder is placed at the proper angle of 75 degrees to your roof, use a chainsaw or pruning saw, cut small sections of the branch at a time until it is out of reach, do not attempt to cut any branches that require you to lean away from the safety of the ladder. Sometimes the safest approach is to hire a professional to handle this job. In the Chittenden county area, try calling Green Mountaineers Tree Service or Barrett’s Tree Service.
If you didn’t get to this pre-Winter, wait for the next Warm enough day and clean out your gutters to make sure there isn’t a surplus of leaves that’ll block the snow from running off. “Once the leaves are pretty much off the trees, it’s time to clean those gutters. When your gutters back up, they overflow, and when they overflow, that water runs down your home, speeding up the deterioration of your exterior. It can also lead to deterioration of your foundation, water infiltration in the basement and to settling under your concrete porches and walks, which creates all kinds of problems.” (Washington Post) Clearly there are a plethora of reasons why sweeping out those gutters is an essential pre-Winter step. It’s not too late though and you should make sure this gets completed! When the snow melts next time the sun is out and it’s over 40 degrees, dress warm, grab a ladder, and make sure all leaves and debris are removed to ensure further damage is not done to the outside of your property.
It’s vital to make sure all of your necessary equipment is in fine functioning order and easily accessible going into the long winter ahead. Get a large bag of sand or salt ready to keep that driveway functional. Next you should test the snow blower, get the shovel out that’s been buried in the garage the past 9 months, and grab a scraper to place into the trunk of the car before you spend a snowy morning searching for these items.
Let us know if these tips get your home protected from the treacherous cold ahead, send us a message with what tips helped you the most. If you’re hoping to sell and move out of the cold, contact our team owner and list agent: Elise@polliproperties.com