Signs Your Home Is Vulnerable & How to Prepare for Winter Weather
Minnesota and Wisconsin experience some of the roughest winters in the nation. This means that homeowners should make winter home preparation a priority. To be successful, preparing a home for the winter should be a continuous effort. That’s because extreme cold, snow, ice, and wind can all wreak havoc on your home.
Common Winter House Problems Can Include:
- Drafty windows
- Clogged gutters
- Leaky roofs
- Paint failure (cracking, chipping, peeling)
Overwhelmed and not sure how to prepare your home for the winter? Check out our detailed tips below or reference this easy-to-understand winter home preparation checklist to get started!
Complete A Roof Inspection For Missing Shingles
Missing shingles from winter storm damage or heavy winds can seem like a minor issue. Left ignored, ice, snow, and rain can penetrate areas on your roof. This can lead to wet attic insulation, mold, dry rot, and ruined drywall. Roof leaks can also compromise plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, and your overall energy efficiency.
To prepare your roof for winter, an inspection should take place. Homeowners uncomfortable with getting on their roof can view it with binoculars, or if there are questionable areas, a roofing contractor can offer a complimentary inspection.
Winterize Windows & Perform A Wet Hand Test
To prepare your windows for winter, the exterior molding should be inspected. A straightforward way to test a suspected air leak is to wet your hand and hold it a few inches from the edge of the window. If there is a leak, you’ll feel air blowing on your hand.
Caulking around leaks can lower heating costs and is a vital step to winterizing windows. Many homeowners complete this task without the help of a professional. If you have to caulk your windows each year, it may be time to consider full frame window replacement.
Bonus Read: A Word About Winter Insulation & Window Installation
Gutter Maintenance Before Winter Should Include Checking For Clogs
An important part of gutter maintenance before winter is ensuring they’re clog-free. Gutters that are filled with leaves, twigs, and organic debris are a recipe for disaster. This is because clogged gutters can cause damage to your home’s foundation, your landscaping, and more. That’s why it’s so important to prepare your gutters for winter.
Although clogged gutters don’t directly lead to ice build-up, they can make the situation worse. As a roof begins to heat up, and the snow melts, the water that is created needs a spot to exit. If gutters clog, they cannot disperse water away from the home. Instead, the water will push back up on the roof causing the ice dam to grow. Icy sidewalks and driveways can be the result of gutters that don’t channel water too far from a home– and can also be dangerous to both the homeowner and their neighbors. Learn more about ice dams and how to get rid of them forever.
Look For Chipped, Cracked, Or Peeling Paint When Doing A Siding Inspection
Siding maintenance for winter should include the inspection of the exterior walls of your home. If you see peeling paint, it’s a sign that the existing paint film is no longer protecting your home. If you leave it, the siding is at risk of deteriorating. While the siding can be painted, the process is tedious, expensive, and rarely long-lasting.
Two types of siding that offer the ultimate peace of mind are LP® SmartSide® and steel siding. Both are durable, long-lasting, and enhance a home’s curb appeal. Each stands the test of time and do not need continuous upkeep.
How To Prepare Your Home For Winter
Every season provides an opportunity to verify if a home’s gutters, siding, and windows are performing at their best. Our home winter preparation checklist can remind you to perform the maintenance needed to preserve your home. Bear in mind that if any of these items are out of your comfort zone, it’s wise to work with a reputable contractor.