Residential maintenance should take place before the cold months settle in. This way, you can avoid running into problems. Below, you will find the best ways to prepare home exterior for winter.
How to Prepare Home Exterior for Winter Season
Winter is a joyous time filled with excitement, laughter, and merriment. Families and friends reunite to break bread, tell stories, and revel in each other’s company. With all this going on, the last thing you’d want to deal with is problems with your home exterior. Not only is it harder to do repair or maintenance work during the cold season, but the harsh weather conditions can also inflict more intense damage.
As the saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Eager to learn how to prep your house for winter? Here are the most crucial steps to keep in mind when preparing house for winter.
1. Do an Inspection
Are you preparing for winter? The first thing to do is conduct a full inspection. Make sure to thoroughly inspect the exterior of your home to identify any problem areas. Take note of even the smallest of issues and have them remedied immediately as you’re getting house ready for winter. This will prevent them from snowballing out of control and save you lots of money in the process.
Of course, not everyone is adept at performing home inspections. Sometimes, you just don’t know what to look for. The best solution is to hire a home maintenance expert to examine your home for you. An expert will be able to spot all potential issues and recommend appropriate action.
To prepare home exterior for winter, it is imperative to insulate it. In fact, it’s one of the most important things to do if you’re preparing house for cold weather. This is especially true if you live in a state that experiences colder winters. Without proper insulation, your heating system will need to work twice as hard to keep the inside warm and cozy.
Check your home for any gaps or openings that could let winter draft inside. Make sure all your doors and windows close properly and that there aren’t any air leaks. If you do find openings, you can seal them off using caulk, weather stripping, or even nail polish. Larger spaces that require insulation, such as attics, basements, and crawl spaces, will likely need professional attention.
Insulating your home is an absolute must if you want to prepare house for winter. Beyond that, it can also save you money on your energy bills. In fact, homeowners can save an average of 15% on the cost of heating and cooling by having proper insulation and sealing.
3. Clean the Roof and Gutters
One of the biggest winter tips for homeowners involves cleaning the gutter and roof. Make sure to have a professional inspect your roof for any cracks or loose shingles. You will need to address these before winter sets in so that they don’t let water into your home.
Get rid of any dirt, debris, and mold that may have accumulated over time. The same goes for your gutters and downspouts. Power washing is a fast and reliable way to get this done. But, power washing in the winter is generally not a great idea because it won’t dry as quickly. Furthermore, if temperatures are below 40 °F, there’s a good chance the water will turn into ice on the roof’s surface. Keep these in mind when preparing home for winter.
4. Pay Attention to the Ground
A lot of homeowners focus their attention on the actual house structure. But, your driveways and walkways need care, too. Get them ready for the winter season through a process called concrete sealing. Sealing is a great way to protect concrete surfaces, making cracks far less likely.
Prior to that, though, you will need to examine your driveways and walkways for any existing cracks. Make sure to fill those cracks before winter comes so that they don’t expand and multiply. Remember that snow and ice can have a detrimental effect on concrete surfaces when not prepared in advance. Overall, make sure to keep these cold weather tips for home in mind every time you start prepping home for winter.
5. Drain Outdoor Faucets
It’s important to pay attention to outdoor faucets and pipes if you want to prepare house for freezing weather. Freezing temperatures can turn leftover water into ice, causing pipes to burst. Water will start flowing freely, flooding your lawn and even the inside of your house. This will require the help of flood services to get under control.
Thankfully, the simple act of draining your exterior faucets can prevent this costly problem from happening. Do your best to drain all outdoor faucets completely, including any faucets in your garden. Make sure to disconnect the hoses and shut off the valve for your outdoor faucets. If you don’t know how to do all of these, call a plumber to help you out.
6. Trim Trees
Winter doesn’t just bring freezing temperatures — it also brings heavy storms and strong winds. These weather conditions can knock tree branches right off. That may not seem too bad on its own, but you have to remember that falling tree branches can damage your roof and vehicle. They can even injure someone walking by.
To prepare your home for winter, make sure to trim your trees. Any branches or limbs should stand at least 3 feet away from your home. This is also a good time to rake any dead leaves from your lawn. This way, you can them from getting under a coat of ice.
7. Pressure Wash the House
A clean home exterior is not only more appealing to the eyes, but it is also less prone to damage. As such, you should schedule a home pressure washing before the cold season. It is not a good idea to pressure wash a house in winter when snow and ice are in full swing. Due to freezing temperatures, the water may just turn into ice and make it more difficult for everyone. Generally, the best time to pressure wash your house is between March and November, outside of the winter season.
8. Service the Heating Systems
It’s a good idea to invest in an annual service to maintain home heating systems like furnaces, chimneys, heat pumps, and boilers. This will ensure that all of your systems are efficient and in proper working condition. Professional technicians can also check the home for carbon monoxide leaks and other problems you might need to remedy before the winter season.
9. Reverse Ceiling Fans
Warm air rises and cool air falls. In winter, it’s best to reverse the direction of your home ceiling fans to create an updraft. This will push any warm air downward and keep the room heated more efficiently. As a result, homeowners can save a decent amount of money on electricity and energy.
10. Drain Fuel from Small Gas Engines
Some home appliances and equipment, like weed eaters and lawn mowers, use gasoline to run. However, gasoline can decompose pretty quickly. As a result, the engine’s carburetor might gunk up and render these appliances unusable after the winter season.
It’s best to prevent this by burning through all the gasoline before winter comes. Use your lawn mower or weed eater one last time during the fall or in the late summer until it powers off. Alternatively, you can also add a fuel stabilizer to mitigate the effects of gasoline decomposition.
Can You Pressure Wash in the Winter?
Winter pressure washing is not recommended. This is because temperatures don’t really get high enough during this time to facilitate fast drying. Plus, if it’s particularly cold outside, the water from pressure washing might just freeze over, covering your house in a thin layer of ice.
So, when is pressure washing season?
In general, you should avoid pressure washing your house between the months of December and February. Any other time outside of these three months is a good time. If you insist on pressure washing your home during the winter, though, make sure there is enough sunlight to dry your house. Pick a hot day when temperatures won’t read below 40 °F. Additionally, it is best to seek the help of a professional.
Get Started and Prepare Home Exterior for Winter
Winter certainly brings joy and wonder, but it can also usher in harsh weather and freezing temperatures. As a homeowner, you should make sure you prepare your home exterior for winter well ahead of time, especially if you plan to schedule pressure washing.
Washh provides both residential and commercial pressure washing services in the Charlotte area. Call us today at 704.321.8000 or contact us online to learn more.
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