Protecting Your Home from Winter Weather

Sep 22 2014

Winter has not arrived yet, nor has extremely cold temperatures but thinking about getting your home prepared for colder weather is an important consideration over the next couple of months. Cold weather can have a big impact on homes. From poor insulation and heat loss to snow and ice damage to the roof and foundation, winter weather is a powerful force and preparing your home for this type of weather is best done in the warmer seasons. Getting your home ready for lower temperatures and seasonal storms doesn’t have to be overly complicated. In many cases, simply inspecting and making small adjustments and performing regular maintenance can make a difference in your home during the colder months.

Inspect Insulation

roofline

The biggest concern at home during the winter is the ability of your home to retain heat. Inspecting and upgrading insulation is a good place to start when preparing for the seasonal transition. Make sure the attic is well insulated and ventilated. Ensuring that heat doesn’t build up in the attic during the cold will help prevent ice dams from forming along your gutters as heat rises and melts snow on the roof. Good insulation will keep heat in the living quarters where it belongs.

Seal Cracks & Weatherstrip

bungalow

Energy loss in the winter can also be attributed to cracks in the walls or gaps along windows and doors that let cold air indoors. Sealing these openings and adding weatherstripping to doors and windows is an important part of retaining heat and keeping out cold. These are fairly minor and inexpensive fixes that will improve the efficiency of your home in the winter. If your home has any single pane windows, replacing these with double pane glass is also a good idea. This will further improve heat retention inside and is a good upgrade to your home in general.

Keep Snow off the Roof

snowfall

This may seem impossible, but it really only applies to heavy snow accumulation that has the potential to damage the structure of your roof. A good method for removing snow from the roof is to use a snow rake. These are long, extendable rakes that you can use from the ground to remove snow from the roof. After a heavy snowfall, it is often a good idea to clear some of the snow off the roof–especially if there is a layer of ice below it. This can help prevent overloading the weight capacity of the roof and prevent water damage. Heavy snow and ice accumulation on the roof can stress it to the point of fracture or even failure. Roof rakes are a practical way to clear snow without having to risk your safety physically getting on the roof.

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