The general convention is to tackle home improvement projects in warmer weather such as spring, summer or fall months. While some projects such as window and door replacement might not be ideal for winter months, there are a lot of other improvements you can make throughout the winter. Here is a list of 5 projects that you can take on during the winter.
1. Gutters and Roof
Ice dams and heavy snow loads on your roof and in your gutters are very common, especially in countries like our lovely Canada where winters are harsh. Even if you have already had snow in your area, it is still not too late take steps to prevent these build-ups.
On day where there is no ice or snow accumulation on your roof, you can install a heated cable system under the first row of your shingles. This simple measure will go a long way in melting ice and snow on your roof. Gutter guards are another way of fighting this build up, however this may be a bigger project in terms of its scope and may be better off left for a warmer day.
2. Plumbing and Pipes
When temperatures drop below freezing, the risk of bursting pipes increases dramatically. Particularly the exterior pipes and valves run the risk of water leakage and flooding due to bursts. To prevent this, simply wrap all exposed pipes and spigots with foam insulation so they don’t freeze in cold winter months. And don’t neglect the interior pipes either! Exposed metal and copper pipes in basements, attics, and crawl spaces may get cold enough to freeze up, just like the ones on the outside.
“Openings” can be defined as any potential area in your home where cold air can seep in and warm air can escape. This will not only result in temperature fluctuations inside your home, but also reflect on your utility bills. To prevent warm air from leaking out, seal the seams around your windows and doors with caulk, waterproof sealant, or weatherstripping. Moreover, you can inspect the areas where pipes are going through your walls and seal them as well. Final step is to make sure air isn’t leaking through the cracks around your interior and exterior light fixtures.
4. Attics and Crawl Spaces
As warm air is less dense than cooler air, it rises to make space for the more densely packed cooler air. This is why it is important to have proper insulation in your attic. Generally speaking, at least 16 inches of R-49 insulation is needed to protect your entire attic. But every home is different so make sure to identify your insulation needs first.
5. Smart Thermostat
Programmable thermostats are a great step into smart home. It’s a simple DIY project that doesn’t cost very much to complete, and the thermostat often pays for itself in energy savings pretty quickly. Once installed, you can program the thermostat to call for more heat in the mornings and evenings, and less heat when you are not at home. Some models even let you control them remotely from your smartphone.