Preparing Your Home For Winter
1. Clean your gutters
It’s a good idea to do this at the start of each season, but cleaning your gutters right before winter might be the most important time. We’re no stranger to heavy snowfall here in CT, which means additional weight on your gutters. If they get too much weight on them, they could be pulled from your home.
More importantly is that if you don’t clean your gutters, your home could get ice dams and resulting water damage. As snow and ice melts and refreezes overnight, the water damage to your home could cost tens of thousands of dollars. Make sure the water has somewhere to go when it melts so it is kept well away from your house.
2. Recaulk your windows and doors
Recaulking your windows and doors each year will not only make your home more energy efficient, but it will also help prevent water intrusion. A caulk gun and tube of exterior caulk will cost you around $20, and you can usually easily do it yourself in a single afternoon or weekend.
Exterior silicone caulk is the best option because it is less affected by temperature changes. To caulk your windows and doors, cut the exterior caulking tube at a small angle using your caulk gun (most caulking guns have an internal blade for this). Insert the tube into the caulk gun and crank the handle until the caulk starts to come out of the tip. Apply a thin line of caulk across the exterior window or door molding. The, using a latex-gloved finger, lightly press down on the caulk to spread it out until it is smooth so it fills all of the tiny cracks and crevices.
3. Get your roof inspected
This step is probably the most important step when preparing a house for winter. If you are unable to access your home’s roof, you can have a professional roof inspection done to look for loose or broken shingles.
Any contractor you hire to do an inspection should also be able to do any minor roof repairs in an afternoon (replacing shingles is usually a quick process). It may seem like a few loose or missing shingles is no big deal, but neglecting any minor damage for an entire winter could easily lead to much larger repair bills down the road.
Winter storms, including heavy rain and especially hail, are notorious for wreaking havoc on a roof, so it’s important that you repair any damage before your roof gets its toughest test: packed snow.
4. Reverse your ceiling fans
Warm air rises, hence reversing the direction of your ceiling fans will push down any heated air and disburse it throughout the room. By keeping the warm air circulating, you’ll heat your home more efficiently, which could cut down on expensive energy costs.
To reverse your fan’s direction, make sure the fan is off, then click the switch above the blades. If you have a remote-controlled fan, you should see an option for reversing the fan’s direction on the remote.
5. Get your chimney inspected
One of the leading causes of house fires is chimneys that are not properly maintained.
If you have a fireplace, it’s essential to get your chimney inspected and cleaned before each burning season, even if you only use your fireplace for its ambiance.
The creosote that builds up inside the chimney whenever you burn wood is cancerous and highly flammable. When enough of it builds up in your chimney, the smoke from a fire can cause it to ignite, which in turn can cause a chimney fire. Having your chimney inspected can help keep your family and home safe from fire risk.
6. Drain the fuel from your small gas-powered engines
Gasoline decomposes fairly quickly. When this happens in a small engine (such as a lawn mower or snow blower), it can cause the engine’s carburetor to gunk up, making it difficult to start.
To prevent this inconvenience, you can either add a fuel stabilizer or let the machine burn through all of the gas by using it one last time until it runs out of gas. If you do this, your machines should last longer and start much easier.
7. Tune up your home’s systems
Temperatures are starting to get cold here in CT and furnaces are coming on regularly now. To keep your furnace running efficiently and optimally, having a technician clean and tune up your furnace annually is the best practice.
Since many CT homeowners heat their homes with fossil fuel and carbon monoxide is an emission from all types of fossil fuels, this is also a great time to check and/or replace the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors.
8. Cut back tree branches
Winter snow and ice can be a heavy load on tree limbs, and even healthy tree branches can break under the additional weight. Cutting back any branches that overhang your home could help you avoid roof damage if a branch should break. If you aren’t able to cut the limbs on your own, a landscaping company or tree company can examine your trees and cut down any limbs that may pose a threat to your home.
Storm Damage Repairs
Despite your best preparation, sometimes our weather in CT can still cause unforeseen damage to your home. If you do find yourself in need of a contractor for storm damage repairs, contact CT Roof Restoration at 860-775-7273. We are available 24/7 for emergency services.