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Winterizing Your Home - Made Easy!

Winterizing Your Home - Made Easy!


[This article was first published in November 2020 and has been revised and expanded.]

Walking in a winter wonderland may be nostalgic or even romantic, but a cold house or frozen water pipes can ruin the mood. Winterizing your home can prevent that.

As a homeowner living in an environment with harsh winters, one of the tasks you probably dread the most is getting your home ready for winter weather. While those living in the more temperate areas of the country such as California, the Southeast, and in the Southwestern states may not have to deal with as much snow and ice, hard winters can still wreak havoc.


Sleigh Bells Ring, Snow is Glistening - In the House!

Sounds nice when you hear the music, but not so much when you hear the wind whistling through your door jambs and window frames.

Snow, ice, slush and freezing temperatures are not kind to homes. In addition to the effects of the extreme temperatures, there is potential for wind and water damage. Poorly insulated homes can suffer from icy drafts and high heating bills. If you live in these regions you already know the score! 

Much of the discomfort and damage can be avoided with planning and proper winterization before the storms and blizzards catch homeowners off guard. As with many homeownership tasks, this is the type of work that is better done sooner than later.

This includes any repairs to be made, things put away safely, possibly cleaning and inspecting a few areas, as well as getting rid of unwanted items that are taking up space. In fact, as you clean and prep for winter you'll probably have a growing list of junk items to be hauled away.

And it's far better to have these tasks done long before the snow and ice hit. Which means it's still not too late to properly prepare your home before the worst of winter arrives.

In addition to the outside of your home, a bit of "winterizing" inside can go a long way towards making your home cozy and warm. 

For example, if your home has extensive hardwood, vinyl, or laminate flooring and tile floors in the kitchen and bathrooms, investing in a pair of comfy, fuzzy slippers is a great idea. While there can be a temptation to buy area rugs for all the rooms of the house when the floors become especially cold in the mornings, this can be costly.

Warm slippers can help avoid the other temptation of turning up the heat constantly through the day.

Although rugs for every room isn't very practical, having a few in strategic spots in house can make a huge difference.  As one article points out,

"Place a cozy sheepskin rug on the floor next to your bed. As well as creating a charming winter vibe in your bedroom, this winter home product will prevent you from getting a shock in the morning as you step out of bed and onto the cold floor!"

While it may seem a bit "old school" to some, the addition of an electric blanket can make your winter night's sleep oh so comfortable!  And you may not want one for the sofa, but a flannel throw will not only add a dash of homespun ambiance, it can make the evenings far more comfy.



How to Winterize Your Home: Some Simple Tips

Along with the more obvious tasks of insulating your pipes and clearing out your gutters, the steps for winterizing your home can include a number of other steps and result in significant savings in possible repair bills and, happily, your energy bills.

Depending on where you live, the freezing winter weather routinely wreaks havoc on properties and drives up home heating costs. While winter doesn't officially begin until December 21st, if you live in an area where October or November snowfall is the norm, early fall is the time for getting  started!

So, a great question to ask is, "Where should I start, and what needs to be done?"

Glad you asked! We created this nifty graphic checklist to illustrate a number of important tasks you will probably want to check off while the weather is still nice so can winterize your home sooner than later:




Routine Tips to Help During Winter

Even if you don't live in a region that is typically hard hit by the weather, you'll can benefit by taking many of these steps anyway. And it's always important to keep in mind that your safety takes priority over your home winterizing tasks.

So, be careful, take precautions, and don't risk injury or property damage when undertaking these tasks.

With that in mind, here are a few additional money-saving tips for preparing your home for winter weather:

Cleaning Gutters

  • Leaves and grime in your gutters can lead to clogs.
  • Freezing rain and snow can form ice dams that prevent your drainage systems from working properly.
  • Check your gutters for misalignments that could also cause water damage.
  • Add extensions to downspouts so water runs at least three to four feet away from the foundation.

Cold Air Leaks

  • Add or replace weather-stripping around doors to minimize or prevent air leaks. 
  • Use caulk to seal cracks and openings between fixed components like door frames.
  • Seal moving fixtures like an operable window with weather-stripping.
  • Check the joints in window and door frames and use silicone caulk for exterior use. 

Furnace Tune-Up

  • Clean your system and get it inspected - you can do it yourself or hire a professional.
  • Inspect your furnace or heat pump to ensure it's clean and running properly.
  • Measure for any carbon-monoxide leakage.
  • Change your filter since a dirty filter will decrease air flow and energy-efficiency. 

According to the U. S. Department of Energy, it is estimated that homeowners add between 25 to 40 percent in energy costs due to inefficient heating. On the other hand, properly sealed and insulated ducts can potentially reduce your annual energy bills by more than $100 on average.

Have a patio?

Things left exposed during the winter months can endure some extreme conditions that, while they may not destroy them in one season, the long term result can be a shortened useful life. The folks at The Spruce recommend the following for your patio space:

  • Cover patio furniture: Protect furniture, or bring it indoors to store for the winte
  • Seal or stain a wooden deck: This might not be necessary every year, but a properly sealed deck will be more resistant to winter damage.
  • Clean and seal concrete: Prior to winter is a good time to patch any cracks or damage to concrete steps or walkways.


Winterizing is One Thing But What About Winter Junk Removal?

While you can do much of the winterizing of your home yourself,  there are some tasks such as chimney cleaning or roof inspections, that are better left to the professionals.  And, while this may cost more than doing it yourself, the convenience and peace of mind knowing that these tasks have been done properly is well worth it.

This is true for junk removal, as well.

Winter junk hauling is also something you could do yourself, but this can require a truck and possibly some extra hands. In addition, you will have the costs for gas and disposal fees to pay for. And then there is the possibility that you may not be able to dispose of everything at your local landfill

That can mean making several trips to various locations and facilities in inclement weather just so you can properly dispose of things that are not allowed in the landfill or local waster transfer station. For example, one family recently took a pickup truck load of household junk to a nearby municipal landfill only to find that the metal junk had to be disposed of at a different location and the broken TV monitor could be left there but with an $85 dollar added fee!

And this was after waiting in a long line for almost half an hour - and after a half-hour long drive to get to the landfill.

The reality of DIY junk removal - especially in winter - is far from easy or convenient.

Not to mention having to do all the hard work and dealing with the winter weather driving conditions. Hiring a professional firm really is a better option when it comes to junk hauling in winter.


The Choice for Your Winter Junk Hauling and Removal

Once you decide to outsource the junk hauling part of your winterizing project, you need to determine which firm is the right one for the job.

You can probably find plenty of guys with trucks willing to do the job, but going that route can end up costing you more than you hoped to save. Given the options and the risks, it is far  better to opt for hiring a professional junk removal and hauling firm.

And Junk King really is the firm of choice.

Junk King provides an efficient, safe and eco-friendly waste disposal service so you don’t need to worry about the pick up or disposal of the debris after your project is complete. Whether you need our services several times during a project or just once after it is complete, our hauling professionals will ensure that the debris is out of your way so that you can get on with the job.

Our team specializes in both commercial and residential junk removal. We can be at your home or office in mere minutes, so call us today! Our crew is fully insured and well-trained, so you can trust them to get rid of your unwanted items in a professional and courteous fashion.

One of the best things about hiring Junk King is that we recycle much of the material we pick-up. Recycling is proof of our commitment to being an eco-friendly removal service. If you have questions about what we do or what we believe, give us a call at 1-888-888-JUNK (5865).



Winterizing Your Home - Made Easy!


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