Harsh winters can really take their toll on your home, especially on its exterior. The good news is that there are a number of steps you can take to limit damage and ensure that your property makes it through to spring as unscathed as possible. So, read on as we take a look at some of the things you can do to protect your home during the winter months.
While the weather is still clement, carrying out an inspection of your home is the first step towards battening down the hatches in preparation for those long windy, rainy, and snowy days ahead. Start from the top by checking your roof for any signs of damage – and make sure you carry out any repairs sooner rather than later as problems could become significantly worse over the winter. Loose, damaged or missing shingles will leak and allow rain, sleet and melting snow to drip through into your attic.
While you have your ladder out now is also the time to clean your guttering and downspouts. Gutters that are full of leaves and other debris can cause water, ice or snow to collect, resulting in damage to your roof and sidings. It may also be worth looking into downspout extensions which will direct water away from the foundations of your home. You should have air leaks fixed and may also want to consider insulating (or re-insulating) your attic, especially if you were plagued by ice dams and icicles in previous winters.
Take a look at the exterior walls of your home too and caulk any cracks or holes to prevent the problems worsening as well as warm air escaping and cold air from infiltrating your home. In a similar vein, you should also repair or replace weather stripping and thresholds around your windows and exterior doors.
It is also worth considering painting the exterior of your home now too, as besides making your home look more attractive – an added bonus if you have guests over the holidays – it will add an extra layer of protection against the elements.
Something to bear in mind for a later date just prior to the really cold weather hitting, bring plants in pots or containers indoors, place covers over plants that are susceptible to frost damage and spread mulch around other plants. This is also a good time to drain the water from fountains, water features, birdbaths, and lawn irrigation systems, if you have them. Don’t forget to drain water from outside faucets too – water left in the pipes can freeze, leading to the dreaded burst pipe scenario when ice causes the pipes to expand.
If they are not already, you might also want to pad your pipes so that in the unfortunate event one does burst, any flooding will be better contained. Your local hardware store should sell insulation sleeves which are easily placed over exposed and unheated pipes such as those found in attics, basements, crawl spaces and cabinets like the one under your kitchen sink.
Whether you have a real fireplace or any other type of gas, oil, coal or wood burning stove contact a chimney sweep who will come out and check that your chimney and vents are clean and in good working order so you don’t experience a chimney fire or worse, carbon monoxide poisoning. Now is also the time to check the batteries in your smoke or carbon monoxide detectors just in case your heating appliances are overworking. After all, you want to be warm, safe and sound when you’re burning your yule log or roasting chestnuts over an open fire!
There are plenty of qualified professionals who can help you winter-proof your home against the elements and if you are thinking about painting the exterior of your home, get in touch with the team at Sharper Impressions Painting and we’ll be more than happy to provide you with an affordable quote.