As your house withstands the ravages of extreme cold, battering winds, sleet and ice it takes a toll that requires yearly maintenance and repairs. Protecting pipes, cleaning gutters, keeping the roof in good repair and preventing exterior deterioration are a few of the necessary steps to protect your house from winter weather.
*Keep The Roof In Good Repair
Check your roof each fall to be sure there are no loose or damaged shingles and replace anything that may become a problem. In addition, check that vents, flues and chimney covers are properly attached and free of debris such as bat and bird lodgings. Trim back any tree branches that touch your roof when the wind is blowing.
If you live in an area where you expect accumulations of snow, it might be a good idea to install roof-heating cables. While the outlay of cash for this may seem high at first, consider the cost of a caved-in roof during a blizzard. The cost of replacing the roof plus the damage done to the interior of the house would be much higher, not to mention possible injuries and even loss of life.
*Clean Your Gutters
When the last leaf has fallen, clean your gutter of all debris and wash it well with a high-powered stream of water, making sure the downspouts are clear too. As you wash the gutter out, check the seams for leaks and repair them. Make sure the gutters and downspouts are firmly attached to the house and that the water from the downspout is directed away from the foundation.
*Keep House Exterior In Good Repair
Inspect your house for any loose boards, aluminum siding or bricks. Even a small opening will give wind an entrance, which will become enlarged during winter storms. Loose siding also allows water to enter, freeze and cause further damage. Also, make sure that shutters are well attached to the house.
For homes with painted exteriors, it is wise to spend the extra money and buy the best paint. Unlike interior painted walls, the exterior of your house must withstand the many extremes of weather. Cheap paints that last only a year or two quickly crack and peel or flake away, leaving your siding to absorb moisture which causes rot and splitting, giving winter an entrance into your home.
Bricks too can suffer from winter damage. Water freezing in the minutest crack will cause the crack to enlarge and will lead to broken bricks. Consider a clear coating that seals the bricks and offers protection for years.
*Caulk And Weather Strip Windows And Doors
Windows are some of the weakest points of your home, allowing drafts and water to enter. Strip old, weathered caulking from your windows and replace with a high-performance water based caulk that is easy to work with in warm weather. Clean the area to be caulked and be sure it is dry before applying the caulk.
Check around your doors and window frames for air leaks and use weather stripping to stop moisture-filled drafts from entering your home. If air can get in, water can get in and water is an enemy of homeowners.
*Protect Pipes From Freezing Temperatures
A burst, frozen pipe can flood the interior of your home ruining carpets, walls, furniture, electrical wiring and ceilings. In short, burst pipes can cause the ruin of everything from the top floor to the basement. This is easily prevented by insulating all pipes before winter sets in with freezing temperatures.
Your home is a valuable asset that requires yearly maintenance and upkeep. Unless you run into a serious problem, one weekend in the late fall should be sufficient time to winterize and protect your house from winter weather