Savvy Tips & Helpful Hints

How to Prepare the Exterior of Your Home for Winter

With fall in full swing and winter just around the corner, it’s time to put together a winter checklist to prepare your home for winter. In some areas of the country, there won’t be a huge change in climate, but most of the nation will be preparing for snow, freezing temperatures, and everything that comes along with the season. Unless you make those preparations early on, you may find yourself in a world of trouble when the cold, wet weather finally hits. If you are ready to make your winter checklist now, here are some suggestions to get you started.

1. Clean Those Gutters!

Once the majority of leaves have fallen from the trees and before the first seasonal snow sets in, get those gutters cleaned. Leaky gutters allow water to do costly damage to the structure of your home, among which is mold. This can cause serious respiratory problems for your family. When gutters and downspouts are clogged with leaves, melting snow cannot drain as it should, and water will sit there until it is too heavy for the gutters to support.

On an average, it will cost over $2,300 to fix broken gutters, so isn’t it cheaper just to keep them clear of debris? Bear in mind that gutters are an integral part of your roofing system, so use this time to ensure they stay intact. Some areas of the country like coastal regions of North Carolina are also subject to heavy winds and storms throughout the summer, so they are at even greater risk of blocked gutters. Learn more about everything involved in gutter cleaning to see just how important this is in preparing your home for winter.

2. Inspect Exterior Windows and Doors

Weatherproofing your windows and doors can help to keep those freezing cold temperatures outside while keeping warmth within. Make sure there are no gaps and cracks in your weather stripping and now would be the time to replace or repair storm windows if they have suffered damage. Any screens that are broken should also be replaced at this time simply because it makes sense to do everything at once when replacing an old window.

Not only will it save time in the spring, but why pay more than one service call if it is not necessary to do so? According to Bob Vila, if you find any drafts getting in you can caulk around windows if weather stripping isn’t an option. Some homes do have decorative windows that aren’t functional, and these would be the ones you’d need to seal with caulk.

3. Winterizing Your Decks and Patios

Since you probably won’t be spending much time outdoors, you might want to put up your patio furniture until the danger of snow has passed. Many people store these items in a garden building or in the garage to keep snow from building up. Not only can all that snow warp wooden furniture which hasn’t been properly sealed but the weight alone can cause damage – and don’t forget rust!

All that moisture sitting on metal can rust exposed screws and nails, and with some patio furniture being made with metal frames, there’s all the more reason to put them up. If you have a wood deck, you might want to give it a good coat of sealant before the snow sets in and if need be… prepare for a Deck Repair. Why suffer structural damage when you could avoid it by sealing the wood and by making the necessary repairs?

4. Preparing the Ground Around Your Home

Remember that snow and ice can quickly build up on branches and power lines running into your home and while there’s not really a lot you can do about utility lines, you can keep all those branches hanging over your home trimmed away. You can utilize the services of professional tree care and maintenance in Irvine to ensure that any branches that need trimming or even possibly a tree that needs to be removed can be done before the bad weather hits. One heavy snow snowfall can bring them crashing down onto your roof or through windows and you know what damage (and cost!) that could lead to. If you had issues with certain trees last winter then it might be best to look into getting tree service removal modesto because if you remove the damaged trees, it can protect both other plants and your property.

Also, this is the time to aerate your lawn and plant grass seed so that when the snow melts away in the spring, you’ll have a head start on growing the greenest lawn imaginable. Don’t forget to ensure that the ground around the foundation of your home is higher than the lawn around it so that any melting snow can run down and away. This prevents all that moisture getting into the foundation, which is a major problem you really don’t want to ever have to deal with. If that does become a major issue, it might be a good idea to consult a foundation repair company that can provide you with suitable solutions.

5. Outdoor Faucets and Hoses

When you’ve finished all your exterior preparation for winter, make sure to shake out any garden hoses, coil them and store them away where they won’t be likely to freeze. Any pockets of water inside can quickly freeze and expand causing them to split. Turn off all faucets around the outside of your home and if you would like to take extra precautions, make a wooden enclosure you can fill with insulation to further protect those water pipes going down into the ground and probably under your home!

Do you know how costly it can be to repair a frozen water pipe? If you don’t want to build an enclosure, at least wrap them well to insulate them and then cover them with plastic to keep them dry. Wet insulation will freeze, and you certainly don’t want that!

One Last Look Around

Once you’ve done all there is to do, take one last look around to make sure you’ve missed nothing that could cause a problem this winter. We usually get someone like the Ace Roofing Company to check the roof for damages before winter starts because they’re only going to get worse when the bad weather starts. When it’s time to put away all the tools you’ve used, it is suggested that you give them a light spray of oil to prevent them from rusting before storing them for the winter as well. Make sure any shovels or snow blowers are close to a garage or shed doors so that you can easily reach them when the need arises.

Also, don’t forget to give that snow blower a quick overhaul to ensure it is ready to go when you need it. It might also be in your best interest to order a good supply of salt or anti-ice for your steps, sidewalks, and driveways. Now is the time to do it because local stores may run out during the first big cold snap of the season. Remember, the more you can do to prepare now, the easier this winter will be. Don’t wait until an issue arises. Prevention is the name of the game.


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