Preparing Your Home for Winter? Don’t Forget Your Roof, Gutters and Windows!

To ensure your home is safe and warm all winter long, there are a few key maintenance tasks you can’t afford to skip. Specifically, inspecting, repairing and cleaning your roof, gutters and windows. These are very “out of sight, out of mind” areas of the home that most of us take for granted - but they’re your home’s first line of defense against harsh weather! Here are a few things to consider as you prepare for winter:

Gutters: Neglecting to clear and flush out your gutters before the temperature drops can lead to a number of issues. When standing water freezes in your gutters, it accelerates the formation of dangerous ice dams on your roof. Also, a gutter full of ice becomes extremely heavy and can cause irreversible damage, or even cause your gutters to detach from your house. Before it gets to that point, have your gutters cleaned, flushed and inspected before temperatures really drop.

Additionally, with the amount of rain we face each winter in Puget Sound, the addition of gutter extenders are a good idea for areas of the home that are prone to flooding. Check to see if your gutters empty onto an area of the yard that does not slope away from the house. If so, you’ll want to add gutter extenders to ensure water is directed away from your foundation.

Roofs: Your roof is especially at risk during the winter as it is constantly exposed to rain, snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Keep an eye on icicles forming, as it sometimes indicates issues with your attic or insulation. This coupled with the previously mentioned clogged gutter can accelerate the formation of ice dams. We can’t stress enough how dangerous those are!

Additionally, it’s important to inspect your roof for damage before it snows, because snow is heavier than you think. Your roof needs to be cleaned and inspected before taking on harsh weather conditions to ensure it’s up for the task all season long. During this inspection, it’s a good idea to be sure all vents and air intakes are covered with a mesh barrier to prevent animals from coming inside to escape the cold. An additional thing to look out for during a roof inspection, is moss. Have you had your roof treated for moss? It’s important to remove and prevent the growth of moss on your roof as it can be extremely invasive and cause a chain reaction that leads to extensive damage. 

Windows and doors: Before the whipping winds and bitter cold temperatures hit, consider removing your screens and replacing them with storm windows. Storm windows act as an extra barrier, reducing drafts all winter long. This will not only keep you comfortable, but will immediately increase your home’s efficiency, saving you on utility bills.

If you do not have storm windows, adding weatherstripping and door sweeps to your doors and windows can have a similar effect in reducing drafts and increasing efficiency. This is an extremely affordable and DIY-friendly task as weatherstripping comes in a variety of materials and sizes to fit every home’s needs.

As with many winter home maintenance tasks, we recommend hiring a professional. Working on a ladder to inspect, repair and clean your gutters, roof and windows, especially if it’s snowy or icy out, is extremely dangerous and should be left to trained, insured professionals. Call for a free estimate on all services today!·