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Home Improvements to Prep for the Winter

Winter is coming, and it’s time to get those projects done to protect your home throughout the winter season.

If you have an extensive list of home improvement projects, how do you know where to start?  Which is the most important to tackle as the weather cools, the leaves drop, and the snow begins to fall?

Here at Poulin Windows and Doors, we have rounded up the top 7 projects you can get done this fall season.  They will help protect your home from the harsh winter, beautify it, and overall make it more comfortable through the cold and dark months of winter.

Top Fall Home Improvement Projects

Start with one, work your way through all, or pick and choose which are the most important for your project list.

1 – Upgrade to Energy Efficient Windows

Window technology changes quickly.  The best windows on the market 10 years ago aren’t as efficient as the best windows on the market today.  If your windows are older than 15 or 20-years-old, it’s time to upgrade to something that will keep you warmer and safer in the coming cold months.

Better windows will not only make your home more comfortable, but they also will reduce strain on your furnace (meaning you replace it less often), lower your monthly utility bills, and withstand a nasty winter storm with less worry than with older windows.

Upgrade Your Old Furnace

Older furnaces become even less efficient over time.  Even if your furnace is listed as an 80% efficient device, it might be operating as inefficiently as 60% due to its age.  If you upgrade to a 95% furnace, you save 35% on your heating costs through the winter.

A higher efficiency furnace will cost more upfront, but decades of reduced utility bills will offset those higher costs.

Fix the Worn out Weather Stripping

When the cold winds of winter blow, the frigid air finds any small gap it can and infiltrates your home.  The result is that your heater runs more often and rooms feel draftier.

The solution is fairly simple.  Every window and door has weather stripping that helps to create a nice seal to stop that cold air from getting inside.  When the weather stripping wears thin, it’s a matter of peeling off the old and sticking on the new.

Improve Attic Insulation

We know from our grade school science classes that heat rises.  While insulation in your walls is still important, it’s even more important to ensure that the attic is thoroughly insulated to prevent heat loss through the winter.

If you have easy access to the attic space, half the battle is done.  Using blow-in insulation, or laying batt-style insulation between rafters, will dramatically reduce the heat loss your home suffers.  Opt for at least an R-value of 19, or blow in the insulation to a depth of 10 to 14 inches.

Install or Replace Gutters and Downspouts

Water is a house’s worst enemy.  Short of moving to the desert, however, there’s not much we can do about keeping our home completely dry.  To ensure that damage doesn’t happen, we want to move the water as far away from the foundation as possible.

Your roof, unless it’s damaged or worn out, will do a great job of shedding the water off the top of the house.  The gutters will transfer that water to a downspout, which will shoot the water out at least three feet – up to 10 feet if you don’t have good drainage.

Fix or Replace Damaged Shingles

Shingles do very little good when they’re damaged.  Instead of shedding water off the house, that water works its way inside causing rot and mold.

But why is it even more important to have these shingles fixed before winter?  As the weather cools, water won’t evaporate as quickly.  It has more time to soak into the house’s framework, and cause even more damage.

Touch Up Exterior Paint

As your shingles protect the roof, your paint seals and protects your siding.  Those with wood siding on their homes must ensure that moisture stays away from the actual wood.

Touching up that exterior paint means you can stave off any damage that might occur when the wet and cold hit.  Because once the temperatures get too low, painting will have to wait until warmer weather arrives. 

Come to Poulin for Your Window and Door Needs

Poulin Building Materials has been serving Vermont communities since 1936.  With 16 delivery vehicles, we can bring what you need right to your door.

When it’s time to tackle those home improvements before winter, Poulin is the place for building supply needs.

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