As fall gives way to the chill of winter, the warm summer days seem like a distant memory. It’s now the perfect time to start winterizing your home for the cold months ahead. These coming months can have extended cold snaps, plus storms bring snow and ice.
A poorly maintained or unprepared home can suffer, resulting in discomfort and significant repair and heating bills. Properly winterizing your home protects it from potential damage due to cold temperatures or ice and snow accumulations. It also makes your domicile comfortable and energy-efficient.
A comprehensive approach to winterizing your home in Twin Cities, MN, touches on several things, including your roof, windows, plumbing, HVAC system, and even the swimming pool if you have one.
What is Winterizing?
Winterizing your home encompasses a range of tasks you take to prepare for the cold winter months. Proper preparation protects your home from possible damage due to harsh temperatures, freezing rain, ice, snow, and sleet. It also keeps the cold out, protecting your family and keeping everyone warm and comfortable.
There are two ways to add value to your home:
- Maintenance: actions you take regularly to keep your property in tiptop condition.
- Improvements: projects ranging from replacing old carpets or painting a room to major renovation and remodeling.
Why Winterize Your Home?
While winterizing your Twin Cities home might seem like extra time and money, it is not very expensive or complicated. It also saves you money in costly repairs.
For example, frozen and busted pipes cost a lot more than a winterizing appointment. Similarly, a damaged roof with loose or missing shingles, leaks, and blocked gutters can all lead to further damage during winter. For example, leaks could end up causing mold and mildew to develop in your attic and cause water damage.
It is essential to have a professional roofing contractor inspect your roof and do repairs before winter to protect your home from harsh weather elements. Below are three things you should know about winterizing your home.
1. When to Winterize Your Home
It’s best to winterize your home in the fall – before winter starts. Early winterization allows you to identify and make necessary repairs to protect your home and make your family comfortable.
It’s also advisable to winterize homes which will be vacant for extended periods or throughout winter. These include:
- Vacation or holiday homes
- Foreclosed homes
- Vacant homes for sale
2. Winterizing Vacant Homes
Winterizing a vacant home is different from winterizing an occupied one. Winterizing an occupied home involves keeping outdoor items and fixtures in working condition and saving money on utilities. A vacant home involves:
- Shutting the water off from the street and inside the home to prevent pipe damage.
- Draining pipes and the water heater, washing machine, and dishwasher.
- Filling fixtures with an antifreeze solution.
- Setting the thermostat to the correct temperature to keep the home above freezing.
- Unplugging appliances.
- Shutting off all gas water heaters.
3. Winterizing Your Occupied Home
Winterizing your home involves protecting its exterior portions against harsh weather conditions. It also involves ensuring its interior stays warm, fixtures remain operational, and appliances work without increasing your utility bills. Consider the checklist below:
- Check Your Roof: As your first line of defense, ensure your roofing system is in top condition. Inspect it for missing shingles, water leaks, mold or mildew, and shingle grit. Additionally, consider adding or replacing insulation to reduce your heating costs and clean your gutters.
- Inspect and Seal Windows: Windows account for much of your heating and cooling costs. Therefore, inspect all windows for integrity, add weather stripping and insulation, install storm windows or coverings, and cover basement windows. Additionally, consider installing energy-efficient windows.
- Winterize Your Plumbing: Prepare all indoor and outdoor pipes to prevent them from freezing. Disconnect water hoses from outdoor faucets. Also, shut off and protect irrigation systems and lawn sprinklers.
- Check the Heating System: Heating is vital during winter, so make the necessary upgrades and maintenance to either your stand-alone furnace or integrated HVAC system. Remember to change the filters and consider adding a UV filter or upgrading to a smart thermostat.
- Invest in Backup Power: Winter storms can interfere with your power supply, so it’s essential to have a backup power source such as portable power packs and generators or whole-home standby generators.
- Prepare the outside of your home: Winterize your lawn and yard, and protect your garden. Additionally, repair cracks on patios and sidewalks and seal holes or crawl spaces around your home.
Hire a Professional for Specialized Winterization Projects
Many of the tasks necessary for preparing your home for winter are DIY. However, always hire a professional to handle specialized repair and maintenance tasks such as roofing, plumbing, and HVAC system preparation. Midwest Roofing Siding & Windows offers professional and reliable roofing and exterior remodeling services. We help homeowners winterize their roofs and windows, giving them peace of mind. Contact our Twin Cities, MN, office today for your next project.