With autumn officially here, the first big snowstorm of the season is capable of arriving at a moment’s notice. As such, there is no better way to spend your dwindling days of beautiful weather than to prepare your home for the impending winter. From weatherproofing surfaces to checking the quality of your building envelope, there are a number of steps that can protect your home from the elements. Keep reading to discover several pro tips for preparing your home for a harsh winter.
Have the Necessary Tools Readily Available
The best preparation any homeowner can make to survive winter is simply to have the necessary tools readily available for when that first storm hits. There is nothing worse than waking up to go to work and seeing your vehicle snowed in and no way to dig yourself out. Therefore, make sure that you have a quality snow shovel, snow blower, and a salt spreader ready for deployment. Not only will this add convenience to your life come wintertime, but it will improve the safety of your property as well.
Make Sure Your Windows Are in Good Condition
The windows are one area of your home that will be put to the test most heavily come wintertime. As a result, if your windows are old or degraded, you are at significant risk of experiencing air and moisture transfer through your windows when the conditions get harsh. Look for discoloration or moisture buildup in the corners of your windows. This could be an indication that the frames or sashes are no longer well-sealed and could leave the door open for significant damage or energy inefficiency during winter.
The most comprehensive remedy would be to upgrade to new aluminum frames or metal-paned storm windows. This will give your home elite moisture resistance and top-notch protection against impact damage. However, if a full-scale window upgrade is out of your budget, more simple measures, such as a window sash replacement or sealing the window/wall transitions with a high-quality silicone sealer, can be effective measures in their own right.
Check the Quality of Your Roof
The roof is another obvious choice to shore up before the first storm of winter, as standing snow can increase the likelihood of a leak forming. Give the roof a visual inspection, being on the lookout for faded or discolored sections, missing shingles, and any blistered or missing tiles. Attend to these areas as necessary, enlisting professional help where needed. It is also a good idea to give the roof a pressure wash prior to winter to knock away any standing debris. Any debris can cause a damming effect that inhibits the natural flow of melting snow off of the roof, so a good cleaning can help prevent rot due to moisture buildup.
Inspect the Sidewalk and Driveway
Sidewalks and driveways take center stage come wintertime. It is critical to keep them clear and dry to ensure the safety and functionality of your property. In addition, it is important to properly prepare them prior to the first snowfall, as freezing and thawing of melted snow can cause concrete surfaces to degrade quickly. For this reason, many homeowners are choosing to switch to permeable gravel sidewalks and driveways in place of concrete surfaces, as they are a bit lower maintenance and do not become damaged by inclement conditions. However, if your HOA requires concrete or you simply prefer it as a sidewalk/driveway material, be sure to fill cracks in concrete and use a high-quality sealer to guarantee that melting snow does not cause any damage.
Give Some Love to the Garage
The garage will undoubtedly be a welcome haven for your vehicles during the winter. However, its functionality might expand a bit based on the needs of the season. You may need to use it as a refuge for lawn furniture, a storage area for snow blowers and salt spreaders, and a drying place for snow boots and overalls. Therefore, sweep the garage floor to prevent any mud formation, and look into how to remove oil stains from driveways to ensure that any standing car fluids do not spread across the garage floor when faced with moisture. Make sure that the garage door is in good condition, sitting flush with the ground so that snow does not blow into the garage’s interior.
Thrive in the Harshest Winters with These Tips
With the warm weather set to go away in the coming days, now is one of the last opportunities for homeowners to prep their homes for winter. With this in mind, acquiring the proper snow mitigation tools, reinforcing the windows, checking the quality of the roof, fortifying the sidewalks and driveways, and showing some love to the garage are 5 pro tips that can help homeowners emerge unscathed from a harsh winter.
Stephanie Rogers is a freelance writer that loves sharing her passion for writing with others. She lives in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona where she enjoys spending time with her husband and dog and going on hikes. Stephanie’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisors, a new construction industry resource launching in Fall 2022.
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