Don’t Overlook This Winter Maintenance
Before we know it, winter will be in full swing. Now is an excellent time to handle some critical winter home maintenance before the harsh Minnesota winds begin to blow. Prioritizing winter maintenance can help protect your home now and in the future.
At Budget Exteriors, our Twin Cities home exterior contractors help homeowners with home maintenance throughout the year. Give us a call to get help with your home repairs and maintenance today!
In this post, we’re sharing our most essential winter home maintenance tips.
Inspect Your Gutters
Winter weather, especially snow and ice, can be very hard on your home’s gutter canal system. During the winter, you want to regularly check your gutters to be sure they’re free of debris that can cause water to back up in your canals. Then, when freezing temperatures hit, that water can freeze, causing damage to your gutters, eaves, and roof deck.
Another common problem that can occur is ice dams – dams of ice that develop at the edge of your roof when your gutters are clogged or not draining correctly. When ice dams occur, water from your roof can get into your home, leading to permanent structural damage.
So, in addition to keeping your gutters clear, be sure to have any damaged joints repaired immediately.
Cover Your Home’s Outdoor A/C Unit
If you have an outdoor air conditioner unit, it is important you cover it before winter. These units are designed to withstand outdoor elements, but they can still be damaged by falling icicles and other debris.
Do not haphazardly cover your A/C unit with a tarp or expensive waterproof cover, because come spring, you’ll have bugs. Covering your outdoor cooling unit in preparation for the winter is as easy as a plank of sturdy wood and a few bricks to hold it down.
After you’ve covered your outdoor unit, make sure to remove any window air conditioner units. Be sure to store them in a safe, dry place where they won’t be damaged by the winter elements.
Check Your Window Seals
Window seal damage during winter can allow water to get into your home. Even a small amount of water that enters through your windows can damage your interior paint and drywall or lead to mold and mildew, creating a health hazard.
Make sure to look around your windows for signs of moisture, especially underneath the interior window frame. A few great ways to seal a drafty window include weatherstripping and caulk. If your windows already have caulking or weatherstripping, it should be replaced.
You should also note if your windows are drafty or poorly insulated, which can impact your winter heating costs. When this occurs, it may be time for replacement windows.
Cover Up Bare Floors
There’s nothing quite like a beautifully stained hardwood floor. But during the winter months, something as simple as the addition of a few floor rugs can help reduce heat flow from inside your living space.
Even without a drafty floor, bare floors stay cold with the weather outside. Adding a few thick, cozy rugs can be a comfort when you’re all bundled up with a cup of hot cocoa and your fleece socks.
Replace Drafty Doors Around Your Home
Do you pay more than you should on your home energy costs each winter? Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that this is caused by drafts in your home. The bad news is that these air intrusions into your home are as bad for the environment as your pocketbook.
But the great news is that in most cases, a drafty door is one of the easiest home improvement problems to tackle.
Take a walk around your home’s exterior doors on a cold evening. Can you identify any drafty spots? If so, it’s time to replace your door and consider adding a storm door for an extra layer of protection against heat loss.
Ask about Energy Star doors when you speak with a remodeling contractor!
Have Your Fireplace and Chimney Serviced
The first time the mercury in your thermometer drops in the winter, firing up the hearth sounds tempting. But did you know that chemicals can build up in your fireplace and chimney from previous fires and can be quite dangerous and flammable?
Your chimney should be professionally cleaned each season to prevent unintentional fires. A professional will also check for birds and animal nests that need to be removed, as critters sometimes nest in chimneys that aren’t being used.
While they’re servicing your chimney, a chimney contractor can also check for damage to the masonry that needs to be repaired for your fireplace to be used safely.
Insulate Your Pipes
The last thing you need when the weather outside is sub-freezing is to contend with a burst pipe. And since one of the leading causes of a burst pipe is a poorly insulated pipe, this disaster is entirely preventable in most cases.
So take some time to check around your basement and garage for pipes exposed to extremely cold temperatures and ensure they’re properly insulated. If you aren’t sure how to appropriately insulate your home’s pipes, call a professional!
Check Your Soffits and Siding
Along with your windows, your siding and soffits help to create the thermal envelope that prevents heat transfer during extreme weather. Your home’s siding is the first line of defense against winter weather, so you’ll need to check it regularly for signs of damage.
Your home’s soffits can get clogged with dust and debris, losing their effectiveness. You may use a pressure washer to clean them, but only so much. Otherwise, you risk soaking the attic insulation.
Additionally, note any areas where your exterior walls may require additional insulation.
Call Our Twin Cities Insulation Contractors
Is your home in need of winter repairs? Updating your insulation, windows, and siding as needed can go a long way in helping to reduce your winter heating costs.
To learn more, contact our Budget Exteriors window installers at 952-887-1613 or connect with us online and get your free quote. We can’t wait to help you enjoy a warmer winter home!