Tips To Prepare Your Home For Winter
The days grow darker, the winds bite harder, and all the leaves are brown. There comes a point, no matter how hard we try, when the shift from fall to winter can no longer be ignored.
Just like your wardrobe and your car, your home must be prepared to weather the coming storms. Checking the following five points in and around your home will give you peace of mind in the coming winter months.
If you noticed a lot of icicles last year, it may have been a sign that your gutters needed clearing or replacing. Before the temperatures drop too low, it would be wise to take a closer look.
Clogged gutters can cause water to flow toward the house instead of away from it, which can lead to mold and water damage under your siding, as well as leaks into the house. None of that is ever good for your home or health, never mind dealing with it on a cold winter day.
Those icicles may also have been a symptom of ice dams on your roof. Large masses of ice develop as snow on the upper part of the roof melts. The water runs under the snow and refreezes at the edge of the roof. Eventually, with melting and pooling against the dam, water can back up on the roof where it gets under the shingles and eventually into the house.
Now’s the time to scan your roof for damaged or missing shingles, before the ice begins to form, and don’t forget to check the seals around your chimney while you’re up there.
Doing so now may mean the difference between a simple repair and a more costly replacement later from extensive water damage and mold in your attic.
If there’s an opening, water will get in and behind anything. Your siding is not immune.
Walk around your house and scan for warped or damaged parts. They should be repaired before rain and melting snow can get beneath and cause greater damage, like leaks or mold problems behind your walls. Making sure you’ve literally nailed down those loose shingles and siding (or replaced any that are damaged) will prevent winter winds from blowing in and sweeping off weakened parts in a single gust.
When you stop to enjoy your view, do you feel a sudden draft? Are your windows beginning to slide down when they’re open? Do you see gaps between the window and molding? Or moisture in between the panes?
When you were in college it was a rite of passage to seal your windows with plastic and a blow dryer, but you’re all grown up now!
Inefficient windows will make your home feel colder, especially if you’re sitting or working near them, not to mention the hit to your pocketbook in added energy costs. Good windows will maintain an even room temperature and save on energy costs, too.
There’s nothing quite like a large, lush tree in your yard. It offers cool shade in the summer and brilliant colors in the fall. But in the winter, it can pose a problem.
Overhanging branches can sag under the weight of snow, and brittle branches blown by harsh winds are easily broken. If all of that is happening too close to your house or electrical wires, landing branches can cause instant damage.