Winter Preparedness: How to Get Your House Ready for Cold Weather

snow-covered farm barn and hills

With winter closing in fast, homeowners start thinking hard about winter preparedness and rightly so. The annual cost of winter weather damage to homes exceeds $1 billion per year.

While you can't really prepare for freak weather events, you can do a lot to protect your home from the normal rigors of the cold months.

Let's dig into some of the things you should look at during your home winter prep.

Freshen Up Exterior Stains, Sealers, and Paints

Stains, sealers, and paints provide your first line of defense against bad weather. They take the brunt of the abuse.

Take a hard look around. Do you see faded stains, concrete absorbing water, or peeling paint?

It's time for action if you do. Lay down some fresh stain and sealer on any concrete or decking.
Break out the brushes and get some new paint on the walls.

Everything you do now helps prevent much costlier repairs later.

Repair Damaged Wood

Sometimes, you find already-damaged wood. Let that go and it will become a focal point for later trouble. It'll attract wood consuming pests and may start rotting.

If you find damaged wood, consider the following options:

  • seal it if the damage is minor
  • install gutters to limit water exposure
  • replace the wood if the damage is major

Roof Check and Repairs

Get up on your roof and give it a hard once-over. Look for damaged or missing shingles, as well as damage to the facia.

If you don't like heights, you can often find services that offer reasonably-priced roof inspections.

Damaged roofing offers an entry point for water. Roof leaks can ruin insulation, damage drywall, and cause havoc with electrical systems.

If you do nothing else, get any roof damage fixed before winter.

HVAC Check

Don't take your furnace for granted. They last a long time but will break down eventually. Get someone in to give it a once-over.

Schedule furnace repair services as soon as possible if the inspection turns up a problem. A broken furnace in the winter can cause plumbing damage, not to mention turn dangerous for your health.

Insulation and Crack Sealing

Most homes can benefit from some extra insulation in the attic. It improves heat retention in the living spaces.

Also, consider adding insulation to your pipes. It helps prevent freezing and might save you a bit on your water heating costs.

Look for cracks and gaps around doors and windows. You can usually seal those up with a tube of silicone caulk.

Parting Thoughts on Winter Preparedness

Good winter preparedness means taking practical steps in terms of home maintenance.

Roof and HVAC inspections and repairs limit the odds of a mid-winter disaster. Fresh stain, sealer, and paint help prevent unnecessary damage to your property.

Repairing damaged wood mitigates future damage and more expensive repairs. Adding insulation and sealing cracks generally improve your quality of life. It can also trim utility bills and prevent freezing pipes.

HowToDoThings.com specializes in providing practical answers to everyday problems. Got a question or comment, get in touch!

 

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