We may not get the snow and sub-zero temperatures our northern neighbors do, but there are some easy maintenance projects you can do so you and your home are ready and prepped for what our unique weather can bring. Take a look at our guide to Northeast Georgia winter home prep.
Our Winter Climate: Kinda Damp
Did you know, our region averages 50 to 80 inches a year of rain? Our winter months (November through February) average five to six inches of rain per month. Freezing rain sometimes makes an appearance as well. That creates some unique home maintenance situations. However, October tends to be our driest month, so take advantage of the drier weather and get your home ready.
Northeast Georgia Winter Home Prep: The basics.
- Clean and store your outdoor furniture – Rain can really take a toll on your outdoor furniture. Save your investment! Scrub with a brush and a cleaning solution, such as Goo Gone Patio Furniture Cleaner, available at Bed Bath & Beyond and Amazon. Wipe around the furniture with the Goo Gone and a rag, paying special attention to the feet and legs. I’ve found spider nests tucked away on mine in those spots. You’ll want to get rid of those before you bring them into storage. Bring your pieces made of fabric out of the elements after cleaning them, too.
- Paint touch ups – Look around and check areas that may need a little paint. Direct sun, heat, and age can dull or chip your paint. Prep with a wire brush to remove flaking paint, then prime if necessary. Touch-up window sills, shutters, railings, etc.
- Clean your gutters – Debris can find it’s way into your gutters and downspout in the summer, so grab a ladder, some gloves, and scoop out anything that’s collected since you last cleaned. Installing a gutter filter can be a smart investment: keep the debris out of your gutter and save you the job of climbing up on a ladder and cleaning it out. (Climbing on ladders is not my favorite thing.)
- Wash outside windows – Invest in a window washing kit (about $22.00 at Home Depot) or hire a local professional. Help the local economy and support hometown business owners.
- Check for drafts – Consider installing weather stripping on drafty suspects like garage doors, windows, and glass doors. This simple step can keep your heating bill in check.
- Take care of your hoses – Drain your hoses and store them. When your hoses freeze it shortens their life. You spent money on it, make it last!
Don’t Forget Your Foundation: Crawl Space, Slab or Basement?
There are a few special considerations when winterizing your home’s foundation.
- Slab – Most commonly, slab foundations have pipes installed underneath the slab. Be aware of this in case of a freezing incident. You’ll also want to check on how the foundation’s drainage system works, to make certain that water is draining away from your house. A sealant like Drylok can also go a long way toward preserving your foundation over time.
- Crawl Space – Moisture can build up in a crawl space-style foundation, and a wet crawl space can damage floor joists, grow mold, and wreak havoc on your home’s air quality. A sump pump can help in the short term, but consider saving for waterproofing. These companies specialize in waterproofing and drainage. Take a walk around the perimeter and close the crawl space vents to help keep water out. (Remember to open them back up in the spring to let air flow through!)
- Basement – Check your windows in the basement and make certain they are sealed. Inspect basement walls for cracks or any leaks/standing water. Consider purchasing a water alarm to alert you to any issues that may appear as the winter progresses.
Ready to Cozy Up for Fall?
With cooler, wetter weather just around the corner, having your home all set and ready means you can relax and enjoy the turning of the seasons. Maybe take that trip to wine country!
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