It’s no secret that winter can be rough. If you live in an area with harsh cold, it can take its toll on you, but don’t overlook the toll it takes on your home, too. Prepare yourself and your house for the difficult weather to come with these easy projects homeowners can do themselves.

Protect Your Pipes

Snow? Below-freezing temperatures? Your pipes are going to feel it, too. Turn the water off to any faucet outside, including hoses and sprinklers, and don’t overlook your laundry room if it’s in the garage. You can buy insulation specifically for pipes (sometimes called pipe jackets). Leave your indoor faucets on drip to keep the water moving, especially in tubs and showers.

Keep Heat in Your Home

Start basic. If you can see a crack in the wall, heat will escape, and the cold will get in. Patch it up, spackle it, and just get it covered. You can put draft snakes along doors and windows to keep the warm air inside. If you have a chimney and you’re not using it, close the chute. Reverse the rotation of any ceiling fans in your home so that warm air is forced downward. Adding a thick rug or two to larger rooms can also add some insulation to your home.

Protect Your Attic

It may seem like the opposite of what makes sense, but if you have an attic, you want to keep it at a much lower temperature than you do your home to prevent ice dams. A hot attic can make snow melt and refreeze at the edge of the roof. This prevents drainage and can cause the runoff to then enter the attic itself. You also should make sure your gutters are clear as well. Keep the floor of the attic insulated to prevent heat from the home getting in the attic and cold from the attic invading the home.

Pool Protection

If you have an in-ground pool, you need to cover your pool during the winter months. A pool cover will keep you from having to clean the pool during those cold days when all you want is to curl up inside with a cup of tea or cocoa. It will also help keep animals from making your empty pool into their winter home. You’ll keep snow and rain out of the pool as well, further easing the burden of maintenance.

Keep Your Plants Safe and Healthy

Winter is devastating on gardens, and that includes typically winter-safe plants if it gets cold enough. The best thing you can do for your garden this winter is to get your plants shelter. If you feel industrious, you can build your own, or simply use old blankets and covers to protect them when the weather gets truly hideous. If you want to use plastic sheeting as a cover, make sure you have wooden framework to staple it firmly into to prevent it from blowing away or leaking. It will also keep the plastic off of your plants, which can be damaging.

It’s very easy to be intimidated when thinking of the frozen months ahead, especially as a homeowner, but there’s absolutely no need to be. There are so many DIY projects you can do yourself and even save some money for the holidays and the new year. Little steps all add up, and every bit of upkeep will help you and your home stay safe and warm this frigid winter.

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