As summer ends and winter approaches, preparing your home’s exterior to combat the cold becomes inevitable. Certain improvements not only help improve the curb appeal but also keep your property and home in optimum condition. While winter is considered a beautiful season (after all, it’s Christmas time), it can easily turn fierce, with winter storms and cold weather that can cause immense damage to your homes if you avoid taking certain important measures.
This is particularly true if you live in a city like Pittsburgh, with a continental climate causing snowy, freezing winters with frequent thunderstorms and 44.1 inches of snowfall on average. Therefore, the cost of home damage during winter can be appalling unless you’re well-prepared. So, if you are already concerned about protecting your property’s exterior from weather damage and avoiding related repairs, read on.
In this article, we will discuss the six tips to prepare your home’s exterior for the winter season. By following these steps, you can easily minimize the damage to your property and will be better prepared for whatever comes your way.
- Roof Inspection
Most homeowners fail to realize that a thorough roof inspection is one of the most important steps to take when preparing your home for winter. Remember, after a few months of snowfall and heavy rainfall during winter, you can face the issue of water leakage due to the melting of thick ice sheets on your roof, causing severe damage to your home appliances and furniture. Since Pittsburgh experiences seven months of snow (from October to April), it would be best to search for reliable roof repairers as soon as possible. Use keywords such as Pittsburgh roofers near me to get your roof inspected by experts. It will help you find all the available options and hire the top contractor to look for broken and loose shingles.
Make sure your contractor looks for damage, holes, or tiny missing pieces that may lead to roof leaks during storms.
- Recaulk Your Doors and Windows
Another tip to avoid winter damage is to recaulk your doors and windows. It is one of the fastest and most effective ways to prevent water damage and avoid heat loss. The best part is that you can complete this step without seeking professionals or spending a fortune. In fact, all you need is an exterior caulk and a caulk gun, and you can complete the task in just a few hours.
However, make sure that you only caulk the outside perimeter of the molding of your doors and windows. Also, go with exterior silicon caulk, which remains unaffected in extremely harsh temperatures. In other words, it will not expand or shrink as the seasons change. While applying the caulk, spread it out completely until it becomes smooth so that it fills all the crevices and tiny cracks properly.
- Keep Gutters Clean
The next tip is to clear out any leaves or debris that may have accumulated in your gutters during the fall season, leading to water damage or blockage on the side of the house. Cleaning gutters before winter is important since water and ice can put additional stress on your roof if they fail to drain properly due to clogged drains. Also, the situation can become even more critical if there is extra snow or rainfall during the winter season.
Thus, before flooding starts getting severe near home, always check for possible clogged-up sprouts outside as well as inside your home. Also, double-check that your gutters’ sprouts are doing their job perfectly, diverting water from your property.
- Inspect Faucets
One of the biggest reasons pipes burst during winter is the undrained water. The problem usually arises in your garden’s faucets or exterior faucets. Thus, thoroughly inspect these areas for undrained water and take measures to drain it completely. If not, the leftover water will freeze in the winter season, and as soon as the ice expands, it will burst pipes, causing you to call costly flood cleanup services immediately.
Moreover, it will also cause tons of water to enter your house almost immediately. So, make sure you keep the faucets disconnected, as you can always open them with the help of common plumbing tools. In case you do not have these tools available at home, you can always buy them or seek the assistance of a professional to do the job. You should also shut off the valve for the exterior faucets and replace them with frost-proof faucets to ensure long-term safety.
- Check Your Home’s Siding
Whether your home has aluminum or vinyl siding, remember to check it thoroughly before the winter season. While most homeowners only want the siding to look perfect for curb appeal, they fail to realize that it acts as a jacket for insulation. It is one of the most integral parts of your home that keeps you and your home protected and warm during the cold season.
So, while you check your roof, don’t forget to thoroughly inspect your home’s siding, looking for any holes and cracks. This will not only help prevent water leakage but also the growth of mold and mildew and its spread into your home during severe weather.
- Prepare the Lawn
Use ample fertilizer to ensure your grass and plants get the required carbohydrates in winter. We recommend using a fertilizer with a high concentration of nitrogen (at least 10%) so that the plants can have sufficient nutrients during the cold season.
Moreover, trim the grass to reduce the chances of snow mold buildup. If you’re not a fan of raking leaves and are wondering what to do with them, do not fret! Simply mulch the leaves into the garden with your mower since these can benefit the soil by providing essential nutrients organically.
Implementing the above-discussed steps and preparing your home for winter can significantly help reduce the damage from winter storms and snow. While the winter season may demand a lot of research and homework, remember that your house’s exterior is directly exposed to rain and snow, and you must put in some effort to protect it. Therefore, make sure to take all the possible steps to winterize your home completely, making you feel more ready to face the winter months successfully. Good luck.