Jack Frost may have already arrived but that doesn’t mean you’re out of time to prepare your roof and home exterior for all the snow, ice, and wind he brings when he comes to town. Here’s some easy preparation for your home so you can go into this holiday season full of merriness and cheer. Freezing temperatures in Minnesota have already set in so if you haven't already, now is the time to get your home ready for the long cold winter.
1. Sealing your home: Give your home a once-over for any areas that need to be re-caulked or sealed, especially around doors and windows. Additionally, you’ll want to check concrete patios and driveways for any cracks and patch up and apply a sealer to keep the water out.
2. Gutter Maintenance: Check out our recent blog post on gutter maintenance! You’ll want to clean your gutters before the snow really starts flying to prevent your gutters from clogging and water overflowing damaging the exterior or foundation of your home.
3. Check your roofs in tip-top shape: Check for damage, or give us a call to inspect it for you. Keeping your home warm and safe during the winter starts with a solid roof over your head!
4. Proper Drainage: A sturdy home starts with the foundation, and ensuring your residence has proper drainage to protect the foundation is crucial.
5. Turn off exterior faucets: Turning off your outside faucets and irrigation system will save you a host of headaches (and a steep water bill) down the road. The cold temperatures can cause pipes to freeze up and burst. Turn them off for the season and drain the pipes so they’re ready for use again in the spring! You can also install an emergency pressure release valve in your plumbing system to help prevent increased pressure leading to bursts.
6. Tree Trimming: Your Christmas tree isn’t the only one that requires your attention heading into the holidays! Strong winds and tree branches can cause a myriad of damage to homes so removing any dead limbs now can save you from a big headache later. If this isn’t something you feel confident doing on your own, call a professional to help identify and remove dead limbs or those that are too close for comfort.
7. Maintain your driveway and walkways: Ensure your steps and handrails are in good shape. Keep your driveway and all walkways clear of snow and ice.
8. Check the Detectors: Check to make sure all your detectors are working properly and change the batteries regularly. Fires happen in the home more often in the winter so it’s important to make sure you and your family are protected.
9. Utilities Savings: Winter can also come with some increased utility costs. Save some money to put towards your holiday shopping this winter by following these simple steps:
a. Open the blinds during the day! Let the sun come in for a little free heat. Make sure to close them at night to prevent heat loss.
b. As mentioned above, make sure your home is tightly sealed and a little time caulking and weatherstripping will pay dividends.
c. Close doors and vents to rooms you don’t use often.
d. Reset the thermostat for your water heater. A few degrees cooler adds up over time and you most likely won’t even notice the difference!
e. Your ceiling fans are not just for cooling. Did you know, circulating the air can help heat your home by reversing its rotation clockwise.
f. Switch to LED, they are the most energy-efficient. While they are a bit more expensive up front, they last much longer saving money for years to come.
g. Baking cookies? Once you’re finished making dinner or baking, don’t let that heat in the oven go to waste. Leave the door ajar and let that heat escape.
h. Lower the temperature in your home and turn the thermostat down when you go to sleep. It’s important to be comfortable in your home, but if you can handle turning it down a few degrees it’ll lead to extensive savings over the cold months.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year but does take a little thoughtful preparation. Refresh Exteriors is your local Eden Prairie home exterior company and we’re here to give guidance on winterizing your home. Most of this should have been completed already as we have had freezing temperatures for quite some time. However, we all know winter in Minnesota sticks around for the long haul. If you haven’t gotten started, it’s not too late to begin taking small steps to do what you can to prep your home and save money over the snowy season. Every small step you take now can mean safety and savings later. If you have any questions about preparing your home exterior for the cold months, give us a call!