How to Make Your Home Ready for Winter

Cold weather can be hard on exterior home fixtures exposed to the harsh weather.  Ice can build up in cracks and make them bigger. These cracks can then cause serious leaks come spring time.  Snow and ice brings in more water and moisture on the roof, which has to have proper drainage to prevent damming and leaking into the house. What are some of the preparations that you can do for winter?

Check the roof

The roof is the primary guard against snow and water so it should be as intact as possible. Split or broken shingles should be replaced. Metal roofing that has the potential to rust should be checked for leaks and tightened if they are loose.

If the roof requires specialized equipment for repair, it is better to contact a qualified contractor to check it out.

Clear the gutters

Much of the snow falls on the roof and melts away to collect in the gutter. Blocked gutters lead to damming which could bring down the entire gutter from heavy weight of the water. Also check for leaks in the gutters to prevent water from flowing onto the paintwork.

Gutters that pour water close to the house’ foundation should be extended with downspouts that pour the water more than 3 feet away from the foundation. This is important to maintain the foundation’s integrity.

Install weather stripping

Cold weather contacts door and window fixtures creating gaps through which cold air drafts come in.  Gaps between the door or windows frames, and sidings and should not be more than the width of a nickel. They can be reduced by applying caulking. Elastomeric caulking is the best as it does not shrink. checking that the doors and windows are closing properly could save you on heating bills.

Clear/Clean the chimney

If you rely on wood or gas chimney for heating, it is important to have a clear chimney so as to clear away the smoke efficiently. A clear chimney prevents build up and reversing of smoke which could have toxins, into the house.

Clear the pipes

Ice has more volume than water which means water in frozen pipes and hoses expands and stresses the pipes, which could lead to breakage. Drain off the water in outdoor pipes and hoses and cut the water. Getting water out of an exterior sprinkler system is a bit tricky and will require the services of a professional to blow the water off.

Trim overhanging trees

Keep the roof and gutters clear of falling leaves and debris by trimming overhanging tree branches. Trimming back branches also helps protect your paint job. Tree branches can scratch against your home & can also provide too much shade, not allowing the areas to properly dry, which can result in mold and mildew growth.

 

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