Getting your home ready for winter is a great step towards protecting it before severe weather and freezing temperatures hit. Not only will winter-proofing your home help reduce any damage from winter storms, but it will also help you financially.
Ensuring that the insulation, plumbing, and power are working properly will save you both money and headaches when colder weather rolls around. So, is your home winter-ready? Follow along to find out more about how you can prepare your home.
Preparing Your Home for Winter
By taking steps to protect your exterior from harsh winter storms and freezing weather, your home maintains its style and curb appeal. But maintaining your home on a consistent basis isn’t just financially prudent: It keeps larger household damage from cropping up because you’re keeping tabs on its condition.
Keep in mind that prepping your home’s exterior for colder weather will take some time, and you might want to get some help for a few of the tasks.
“To save frustration, break it down into two or three jobs you can tackle over the next three to four weekends,” according to experts with HGTV. “You can make things even easier by dividing the job among the family. Assign each person a room to inspect and report back on whether it's ready for winter.”
Start With Your Exterior Siding and Windows
You should start with an audit of the home’s exterior, inspecting the siding or exterior walls for any damage that could impact its integrity.
Depending on what type of siding you have installed, you might consider replacing any severely damaged or rotted materials. Exterior products like wood siding need to be finished to withstand harsh weather, or other problems will start to crop up in the home like mold and moisture issues.
Next, take a look at your windows and doors, and make sure the seals around them are tight. HGTV offers homeowners a few tips: “Add or replace worn weather stripping around the doors and windows and caulk any gaps. If doorstops are worn, replace them. If any pipes or ducts travel through an exterior wall, be sure to use caulking and weather-stripping around all entry points. These steps will block any potential entry points for cold air.”
Inspect Your Roofing and Drainage for Damage
Colder temperatures can bring a lot of rain and occasional snow in climates like North Carolina and Virginia, and a home’s roof is the first means of protection.
If you’ve got a ladder and someone to spot you, get ahead of the freeze and inspect the top of your home (though we recommend leaving this to the professionals, as it’s easy to get injured on a ladder). Homeowners should check their gutters and drainage systems for any cracks, and remove any leaves and debris to avoid flooding or ice dams.
This is also a good time to check the roof for any potential damage. Look for cracked or missing shingles. The roof and attic area of the home are critical to your home’s insulation and where heat often escapes.
Roof inspections are a critical part of your home’s protection and should be a routine part of your annual maintenance. “If, however, you’re just not ready to spring for new shingles, you may still be able to improve the energy health of your existing roof by upgrading your attic’s insulation,” says Glenda Taylor.
Make Sure Your HVAC Is Maintained
All appliances, including heating and cooling systems, have their expiration date. “No matter what kind of heating system you have in your house, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and upgrading your equipment,” according to Energy.gov.
“Heating your home uses more energy and costs more money than any other system in your home — typically making up about 29% of your utility bill,” according to Energy.gov, who recommends a whole-house approach to maintaining your HVAC system. This includes the following steps:
Clean filters, registers, and radiators as needed. Replace according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
Set thermostats as low as possible in the winter, especially when you're sleeping or not at home.
You (or a professional) should eliminate any trapped air from hot-water radiators once a season.
“Remember, an energy-efficient furnace alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach,” according to the Energy.gov website.
Tend to Any Outdoor Spaces
Don’t forget to inspect your patio furniture and outdoor deck. If you have any outdoor furniture or other design elements, make sure they’re stored away or protected from harsh weather.
Walk around your home and inspect it for vulnerabilities:
Look for any branches that might fall on your home, deck, car, or other valuables.
Protect vegetation with some type of cover: drop cloths, sheets, and plastic sheets all work fine.
Be sure to completely drain any hoses or faucets before the start of the frost season.
Make sure your generator has fuel and is stored away properly, and have an emergency kit ready to go for any power outages or other weather conditions.
It’s also important to check with your insurance agent to ensure your home’s policy protects against winter storms — disasters can occur without warning, and some policies can help in an emergency.
Products to Prepare Your Home For Winter
It’s important to use products that can stand up to freezing temperatures and harsh climates. When you’re maintaining your home, check the condition of the following on your home.
Siding: Many materials are used to clad homes, but in areas with colder weather, materials like fiber cement are more durable and will stand up to freeze-thaw cycles.
Windows and doors: High-performing, energy-efficient products will significantly improve your home’s insulation and protect the integrity of your home’s exterior.
Roofing: A durable roof can protect your home year-round and will last for decades if it’s properly maintained.
Insulation: The insulation you use can have an impact on indoor comfort and your energy bills.
Decking and outdoor living: Design an enjoyable outdoor space that can withstand the elements in winter, so you’re able to enjoy it when the weather warms up again.
So, is your home prepared for winter? Get started on prepping your home this weekend!
Need help with your to-do list? Talbert Building Supply is a family-owned business with a reputation for great customer service and high-quality building materials. If you’re a homeowner, Talbert has the products and services to ensure your home is prepped for colder weather.
Experience the Talbert Difference and check out our menu of products or stop by one of our showrooms today.