It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it’s also the toughest season on your home. During winter, you spend ample time within your home’s walls having meals, spending time with family, and getting cozy by the fire. But is your home ready for all that Portland winters entail?
Exterior Check Up
Take time to properly inspect the exterior of your home or have a professional assess your property pre-winter. Start with the outside of your home, as those repairs are more difficult to complete once the cold weather sets in.
If your roof has any damage going into winter, it will likely allow cold air or even water into your interior. Winter is also the most dangerous time to attempt roof repairs. Climbing on your roof during the cold and wet season is not recommended, which means you want to make sure your roof is ready for winter before its arrival.
Take time to walk around the exterior of your home, checking for any lifted, cracked, or missing shingles. This is a sure sign you need a roof repair. You should also contact a professional for an inspection. Most roofing companies will provide inspections at no cost, and quality professional roofers are more likely to catch damage.
Cracks or damage to siding will not only lessen your home’s insulation but also increase its chance for water damage. Before winter’s arrival, you should have your siding inspected for areas of concern. If any damage can be found, contact a professional for repairs.
Completely replacing old siding for a weather resistant and durable siding like James Hardie® fiber cement is the best way to know your home will remain secure throughout the winter months. If your siding is older or has experienced severe damage, it’s time for an upgrade. Don’t let winter arrive without getting your siding ready.
Who doesn’t love a beautiful white snowfall? Well, your home might not, if your gutters are not prepared to handle the precipitation. Clogged gutters and drains lead to ice dams, pooling water from snowmelt, and other moisture-related issues. Inspect them before winter hits. Gutters should not have leaks or breaks, and should be repaired or replaced if any are found.
Energy efficiency plays an important role in those long, dark, and cold winter months; and the best way to increase energy efficiency is through replacement windows. Windows allow light into your home, but they shouldn’t allow the cold. Checking the seals and frames for cracks can help you notice where air leaks are occurring. Recaulk any places where caulk is lifting, and replace broken seals.
Check for loose or broken window panes. They may also need to be reglazed. Glazing surrounds the pain and keeps it in place. Therefore, if the glass feels loose, it needs new glaze to keep it securely in place during winter. This is especially noticeable in older windows.
Exterior doors can also be a place of great heat loss. Just because a door is closed doesn’t mean it is properly sealed. Doors can have a small opening between the door itself and the frame. Even the smallest crack can allow heat to escape your home and escalate your bills. The fix is simple — weather stripping. You can easy insulate your home by adding weather stripping around your door and increase the energy efficiency of your home, saving you money. Installing weather stripping on your own is simple and affordable.
Interior Check Up
Once the exterior of your home is ready for winter, it’s time to move inside. Tuning up the interior of your home will have you enjoying those long winter nights and making the most of them. Here are items to take note of in your interior.
Pack in the Insulation
Thoughts of winter bring an image of falling snow and cozy home interiors. But without the proper insulation, all you will experience is the bitter cold. The primary locations for interior insulation are in your walls and on the floor of your attic.
Insulation lends to the energy efficiency of your home. It can lower heating costs and protect elements like your roof. While adding wall insulation can become a major project, attic insulation is not. Adding insulation to your attic floor can help keep heat inside your home’s interior and also prevent the buildup of ice damage on your roof — a major source of water intrusion and roof damage.
Too often the furnace in a home can get overlooked. Unless it stops working, homeowners don’t give it a second thought. However, regularly checking on your furnace and giving it a tune-up can extend its life and keep your home warm. You should change the filters in your furnace before winter to keep it running at maximum capacity and not pumping out dirty air.
You should also have a professional run a carbon monoxide test and checkup. This will help during winter, but it will also extend the life of your furnace.
A simple and easy tip to make your home cozier is to reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. Most ceiling fans will have a switch that can set the direction moving the opposite way. Most fans pull the air upward, so reversing them pushes air downward. As heat rises to the top of your rooms, the reversed direction pushes it back toward you. This helps lessen the need to run your heater and is a simple way to be more energy efficient.
Live in a Safe Home All Winter Long
Winter does not have to be a nightmare for your home. With the proper preparation and materials covering your exterior, you can enjoy all of the holiday moments and family time this season has to bring. So make sure you are stocked up on your firewood, hot cocoa, and give our team a call at (503) 719-6644 for a free estimate and to find out how we can get your home winter ready.