Caring for the Life of Your Home: Winterizing

Caring for the Life of Your Home: Winterizing
By: Curtis Hankins Last Updated: November 20, 2017

The holiday season is already upon us, and as the seasons change homeowners are going to face a new series of challenges. Icy garages and driveways, window condensation and fireplace troubles, and perhaps scariest of all, houseguests. We want to make sure you can provide your home with the best care possible to ensure it has a long and healthy life.

We’ve reached out to a number of Northwest Indiana’s finest home improvement, cleaning, landscapers and wood care professionals to get their expert advice on winterizing your home. Some are quick and easy, others require an expert hand, but these experts committed to providing the community the best, and most reliable service possible.

“One simple thing is to always raise your window blinds at least half an inch so that condensation can dry on your windows, preventing mold from building up,” says Michelle Smith of the Mop Squad. “And of course, make sure to keep your rugs down to prevent people from tracking in snow and salt on your floors.”

“With the holidays coming, a lot of people have houseguests,” says Chris Paulk of Bedzz Direct. “When you’re getting your guest room ready, you can move your old mattress in there, and treat yourself to a fresh one!”

“Household condensation, or ‘sweating’ on windows is typically caused by excess humidity or water vapor within the home,” says Terry Keelen of Terry’s Discount Windows and More. “We recommend buying a Hygrometer to keep track of your indoor humidity. And air your home periodically, opening windows for just a few minutes each day lets stale, moist air escape and fresh, dry air enter without compromising your heating.”

“You should lubricate your garage doors five to six times a year,” says Betty Jo of Overhead Door. “A lot of people don’t realize that garage doors require maintenance just like their washer and dryer or dishwasher.”

“First of all, make sure you keep your air filters fresh and change them out every 6-12 months,” says Kylee Chayhitz of Thorn Total Comfort. “And, if your A/C unit is underneath any leaf bearing trees we recommend you cover it for the winter months to prevent any damage caused by leaves. However, if there isn’t any threat of debris building inside, you should keep it uncovered so that air can circulate through the system, preventing moisture from building up.”

“We recommend that those with gas fireplaces get an inspection at least once before the winter season,” says Bill Kaye of Von Tobel. “You need to check for blocked vents, bad components, and more. Just getting one done can prevent a small issue from growing into something big.”

“Make sure that all the leaves and debris are cleared, and that your deck is washed before the first snow starts to accumulate,” says Greg Rentschler of Timberseal. “Leaves will hold moisture, and start to bleed and stain your deck. So keeping those off your deck will prevent discoloration.”

“It’s important to fertilize during the fall,” says Steve Daly of PermaGreen. “It just goes into plant storage and health, it’s actually more important to fertilize during the fall than any other time of the year.”

“You want to make sure to seal your driveway or parking lot before winter,” says Benita Smith of B & G Sealcoating. “As it freezes and thaws, asphalt moves just like earth. So when there’s cracks and water gets in them, they’ll expand. So if you don’t treat them, they’ll get larger and more damaged.”

“You should always stack your firewood at least 20 feet from the house,” says Terry Peek of Master Tech Pest Control. “If there’s problems in the wood and the wood is against your home, it transfers into the house. So it should always be at least 20 feet away, never against your home, and keeping it off the ground will help keep it secure from pests. You should also replace any missing or chewed weather stripping underneath your garage door, which prevents rodents from coming in.”

Winter can be long and hard, these tips and services make the season a whole lot smoother and help minimize the work you need to do come spring. Think of this advice as an early holiday gift, from these dedicated community businesses to you. We’re looking forward to sharing more from these experts dedicated to caring for the life of your home.

You can learn more about all these businesses at their websites, Facebook pages, and their Partner Profiles.