Everyone who owns a house knows it requires a lot of maintenance. In order to make your life easier and your maintenance budget smaller, there are some improvements you can do yourself, and autumn is the right time to do it. With the weather starting to cool down it’s a perfect opportunity to clean up the summer mess until the winter kicks in. So let’s take a look at DIY home improvements ahead of you.
1. The Roof
This improvement is not only mandatory for the resale value of your home, but it’s the thing that keeps you dry and safe. If you’ve been tolerating some minor gasps of leaks, ice and snow of the coming winter will definitely find their way in. So it’s mandatory to replace any loose or missing shingles before the first snowfall arrives. Be sure to examine your roof carefully. If you realize that you have to replace it make sure you find a shingle that will perform well in your area. Asphalt shingles are perfect for the snow belt since they’re durable and able to withstand the combination of heavy wind and snow. Although your improvements need to start from the top, your safety requirements need to go from the ground up. Nobody will forget about the safety helmet, but only slipping into your work boots will prevent you from slipping down and breaking your neck.
2. The Attic
Air leaks in the attic are not just an obstacle to keeping your home warm over winter, they’re also your pest entrances. You should be able to locate them by the light shining through the chinks, but the draft you feel when the weather starts to cool down in the autumn is a much easier indicator. Now that you know where the leaks are, simply seal them off with foam insulation, but don’t try to close off any vents if you don’t want humid air.
3. The Gutters
The moisture should be your number one concern, and getting it away from the foundation is crucial. So you need to clean your gutters in order to make sure the water is being funneled away from your house. We know it’s not the most glamorous home maintenance task, but you need to do it during the autumn. If they’re clogged they’ll be overflowing with rain and snow, eventually turning to ice and damaging your roof. First, you need to remove any twigs, leaves, and other debris that’s preventing the proper drainage, then flush the gutters with water. Make sure you inspect the joints carefully and tighten the brackets if it’s necessary. If you’re looking for a more permanent solution that will keep you off the ladder, consider installing gutter guards.
4. The Windows
Your attic is not the only place to check insulation – it is also important to check it around your doors, and especially the widows. Their felt strips that prevent drafts can wear down over time, so installing proper weatherstripping is mandatory. If you have single-pane windows consider replacing them with double-pane ones because the first are very poor insulators. You can go an extra mile by upgrading them to models sealed with a neutral gas such as argon for even better insulation. Just don’t wait for the frost to set in and don’t make any structural compromises – they allow warm air to escape and invite the cold one in, forcing your HVAC system to work extra hard for the desired temperature. Your goal is to lower your energy bills during the winter.
5. The Fireplace
Your fireplace is not only the main source of warmth but also the symbol of winter magic. You need to ensure its safe operation, so clean it inside out and make it shine. First, remove the dirt by wiping the surface down a damp cloth. Then mix and apply the paint – for the first coat the paint should be two parts white, one part gray, and two parts water. When applying it to the bricks it’s best to use a flat oval-shaped brush. When adding the desired color make sure you apply it in different places using a rag, not a brush. Then return to your rounded brush for a final touch of applying the wax to the bricks.
There you have it – all it takes is five simple things to make your house dry, warm and comfortable for the winter. Doing these DIY improvements in the autumn will guarantee the presence of winter magic inside your spruced up home.