8 Household Projects to Tackle before Winter Arrives
Winter weather can take a toll on your home. Make sure your home is ready for this upcoming season by completing these tasks.
For all of your home improvement projects that require professional help and attention, make sure to contact RGS Contracting, your Eugene, Oregon general and concrete contractors.
1. Insulate Your Attic
To reduce your energy costs over the winter months, make sure your attic has the proper amount of insulation. It’s also important to know how much insulation is appropriate for where you live.
In order to determine this, consult the Department of Energy’s guide to insulating your home. This guide helps you to determine the proper amount of insulation needed as measured by R-values. If you live in the Eugene, Oregon area, the recommended R values for insulation in your attic is between R38 and R60.
2. Fix Cracks in Concrete
If you’ve noticed cracks in the concrete in and around your house, it is important to fix them before the weather gets too cold.
For best results, concrete should be patched while the temperature is still above 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Fixing concrete is relatively cheap and can be done in an afternoon depending on the size and number of cracks. You’ll need concrete repair mix, a cold chisel, some sealer and a caulking gun. You can find more detailed instructions here.
For more severe issues, make sure to contact RGS Contracting as we specialize in concrete and foundation repairs.
3. Make Your Leaves Work for You
Raking leaves is the quintessential fall chore, but failing to do so can gravely impact your lawn.
If you permit leaves to hang around all winter, they can smother your lawn or provide a habitat for annoying bugs and pests.
Before raking, mow your lawn to create a type of mulch out of the leaves.
After you’ve raked them up, simply add some fertilizer and sprinkle the mixture over flower beds to prepare them for the coming winter months.
You could also add your leaves to a compost to have home-made soil ready when spring arrives.
4. Organize Your Garage
This is your last chance of the year to clean out your garage before the weather really turns cold.
Let’s face it, nobody is going to want to clean their garage in the middle of winter, so this is your last opportunity before spring. Take this time to make sure any winter-related tools or items are moved out of storage and are at the ready.
5. Install a Bird Feeder
Food is harder to find for birds during the winter months. According to the Audubon Society, over a hundred species of birds rely on bird feeders to supplement their diet in winter.
If you and your family enjoy birdwatching from within your home, install a birdfeeder now.
You may find that migratory birds make use of your birdfeeder as a pit stop on their way to their winter nesting grounds and on their way back in the spring.
6. Seal Off Entrances Where Critters Can Enter
When the cold weather rolls in, outdoor critters begin looking for a warm place to stay.
That could end up being your home unless you seal off animal entry points. If they enter and get comfortable, they could begin to cause significant damage to the interior of your home. Take the time to seal off holes and cracks to avoid dealing with unwanted guests.
7. Prevent Your Water Pipes from Freezing
Living in an area where temperatures can plummet below freezing can cause water pipes that run through unheated areas to burst.
To prevent this happening and forcing you to replace your pipes, you can purchase foam insulation sleeves and faucet covers. This is a cheap way to proactively avoid a potentially expensive repair.
8. Fill the Gaps around Windows and Doors
Make sure none of the heat inside your home is escaping and that none of the cold air outside is drifting in by sealing off the openings around your windows and doors.
The general rule of thumb is that if you can see daylight through the gap it’s time to fix it. You can do so by simply using exterior caulk and weatherstripping.
Prevent winter catastrophes by preparing for them ahead of time. If you need professional assistance tackling some of these projects, let us know! At RGS Contracting, we are very proud of the work we’ve done. Check out our portfolio and make sure to contact us for your concrete, foundation repair and general contractor needs in Eugene, Oregon.
*This post was updated November 1, 2017*