It’s your last chance for outdoor renovations before winter. The goal is to make the changes that have the biggest impact. This guide will cover four outdoor projects that a DIY handyperson can accomplish over a weekend. These upgrades can improve how your home handles messy weather.
Install a Gutter Guard System
Do your gutters clog up all the time?
Gutter guards deter dirt from building up and keep leaves away. The cheapest option is a fine mesh screen. The best results come from guards made with true metals like copper or aluminum. These products are available for both half-round and K-style gutters. Any dirt that gets through is tiny enough to drain out when it rains. With the extra protection, cleaning becomes a less frequent responsibility.
Installation is not too difficult for the average DIYer. You can choose the complexity level that works for you. Mesh screen guards are the easiest to install. You only have to cut the mesh to fit and place it in the gutter. Snap-and-lock designs offer greater security. Hinges and rivets are effective fasteners. Some designs rely on tension to hold still. Also, designs that require self-tapping screws are usually of good quality.
Add a Roof Heating System
One thing a gutter guard cannot do is prevent ice dams. They occur when snow accumulates, sits, and goes through cycles of freezing and melting. You want the snowfall to leave the roof and gutters as quickly as possible. The longer it sits, the greater the risk of exterior damage. Eventually, the ice dams can cause a roof leak that runs into the house.
Install a roof heating system to prevent that from happening to your home. Insulated roof panels are terrific at removing ice and snow. Many homeowners notice a heating bill reduction after the installation. You can benefit more by investing in solar panels which are conveniently effective at melting snow. If your budget is low, consider deicing tape or cables.
Pick whether your system of choice is self-regulating or constant low-voltage. Some heating units turn on when it detects a certain temperature. Other systems run all the time while drawing a small amount of power. A plug-in operation costs more when constantly running, but it is the cheaper option if your area rarely gets heavy snow.
The self-regulating unit needs a controller or thermostat to maintain cost-effective operation. Heated panels have lower energy costs. The constant voltage units If you can afford solar panels, the energy savings will be more cost-effective long term.
Note: The outdoor temperature should be above 40° F when installing a roof heating system.
Prepare the Detached Buildings
Save your garage, workshop, or shed from deteriorating through winter. Inspect the roof for any damage or worn-out shingles. Replace or repair anywhere that is in rough shape. Consider putting a tarp over the roof if you expect it to stay in poor condition all winter. Install a heating system if the roof is good but prone to ice dams.
Check the windows, doors, and framing for signs of rot. Replace the decaying pieces. You might need a structural engineer if the roof support has damage. Now is a good time to upgrade materials if your building uses cheap wood like pine.
Make sure the floor is not sagging or springy in any areas. Replace the rotting boards. Look for the originating source of any wet spots. Fix the cause of the leak and remove any remaining moisture. The goal is to get your building dry and make sure it stays that way all winter.
Styrene windows are unbreakable and a great upgrade if theft is an issue in your neighborhood. The extra cost might be worthwhile for you. Replacing a shed window is a pretty simple process. Any basic handyman will get the job done in a few hours.
Another way to keep your building dry inside is to paint the outside with waterproof paint. Look for reviews of the product before picking one. Waterproof exterior paint helps keep moisture from entering the building. This paint is a difference-maker if your area is known for heavy rainfall or snowfall.
Winter is coming fast. Soon it will be too late for certain home renovations. Take care of the nagging issues on the outside of your home. You have all winter to do weekend projects inside the house. If you have not done so yet, now is also the perfect time to clean your air conditioner. Check out this cleaning guide to go through the steps you must follow.
We hope this article gave you some helpful ideas and tips. Now is the time to decide where you should spend your time and money. The right choice depends on the condition of your home and what you want to accomplish. Regardless, this last-minute weekend DIY job will make a difference for your home.
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