Snowed In– Preparing Your Home’s Exterior

Preparing your home for the brutal conditions that winter weather brings can be overwhelming. Often, harsh conditions can lead to an increase in heating costs and can damage your home. This list will help you prepare your home for the winter ahead so you can rest easy and save money.

How to Prep Your Home for Snow and Winter Weather

Service Snow Equipment

Before any season, it is always important to service any equipment you may need to care for your home. In the winter months, essential items to service include snow-removal equipment, your chimney and flue, and to cut away any tree branches near your home.

Also examine wooden window frames for signs of rot or decay and repair or replace if necessary. Similarly, inspect windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps and repair if needed.

Keep it Clean

One of the most basic ways to prepare your home for the winter is check and ensure that parts of your home are clean and functioning for the extreme temperatures ahead. You should confirm your furnace, gutters, storm drains, and vents are clear to prepare for winter storms.

In order to preserve your deck and courtyard, sweep up any leaves and other debris before the first snow. To protect your foundation, make sure your home’s downspouts extend away from the house by at least five feet. It is also important to check for any missing, damaged or warped shingles on your home.

Diagnose Problems

Every homeowner knows the pain of high heating and cooling costs in the winter and summer. Don’t struggle with cold temperatures anymore. Instead, do a full energy diagnosis on your home. Chances are that the exterior of your home is leaking out energy (and money). Simple repairs to your fireplace, attic, windows and doors of your home reap high rewards. While some homeowners choose simple fixes, others may decide to completely replace things like windows in order to gain greater long-term benefits and savings.

For example, double- and triple-pane windows are more energy efficient. Additionally, low-emissivity (or low-E) window glass treated with an invisible metallic coating saves energy, reflects heat, and cuts down the UV rays that damage furniture. A more inexpensive option could be to seal windows with a removable polyurethane film to lock in heat. To save energy leaking from your doors, replace any screen doors with storm doors.

Insulate Large Areas

Insulation reduces drafts, cuts down on heating costs, and reduces sound. Make sure insulation is installed in your attic, basement, and around pipes. If you’re unsure whether or not your insulation is lacking, hire an insulation professional to assess your home. Common insulation options are foam, fiberglass and cellulose. In the winter it is also a good plan to remove air conditioners from windows or cover them with insulated liners to prevent drafts.

Other ways to keep the cold out are to run heat tape around the edge of your roof and gutters. Similarly, insulate exterior water lines to keep ice from forming and to prevent freezing. Weatherproofing your home by adding weather-stripping, insulation, insulated doors, and storm windows or thermal-pane windows is also beneficial.

Caulk Everything Else

Caulk and expanding foam fillers are essential in keeping energy in and pests out. Seal gaps and cracks in your foundation, walls, and home exterior. Foam fillers are better to fill larger openings while caulk is adaptable for openings around windows and doors.

Check for deteriorated flashing at the chimney, walls, and skylights and around vent pipes. Seal joints where water could penetrate, using roofing cement and a caulking gun.

Heating and Ventilation

Your HVAC system may be overworked. Dirty filters make your heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system work too hard. This shortens its life and efficiency– not to mention costs you money. If you have an older thermostat, replace it with a programmable unit to save on heating costs.

Repairs That Reward

Though it is tempting to leave home projects until the spring, doing so could do more damage to your home then if you had done pre-season repairs. Underneath heavy snow and with harsh winter conditions, the exterior of your home can easily accumulate damages. It is important to repair roof leaks, check gutters and downspouts for proper fastening, and inspect decks for splintering, decay, or insect damage .

Find a trained technician who can help you diagnose problem areas in your home. Here at TrueSon Exteriors we have years of the experience and the skills necessary to diagnose and fix energy problems with your home. Call us today at (573) 442-7292 to prepare your home’s exterior for the winter ahead.

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