Perhaps you’ve heard this ubiquitous, now-everywhere-meme from the Netflix hit, “Game of Thrones,” but it’s never been more applicable now that winter is, indeed, coming. In just a few months, the temperatures will drop. Icy rain and perhaps, even snow, will arrive and if you haven’t been winterizing your home when it gets here, you’ll wonder why you didn’t.
That’s why I’m writing this now so that you can start winterizing your home and prepare for the onslaught of all this frigid mess. Here we go.
While looking at your roof from the ground can tell you something about the condition of your roof, it doesn’t tell the whole story. The best thing to do is to get up close and personal. Get out and up on top of your roof. Here’s what to examine:
– Are any loose or missing? Do you see stains or rot? How about the caulking? Is it wrinkled? And the flashings, are they loose and/or missing?
– Make sure they’re clear of leaves. Should it snow or ice, they won’t drain properly and it’ll cause problems for your roof and home. If you need help, we can help.
– Are there branches hanging over your roof, perhaps dangling close to the surface? Here’s the issue: If it snows, they can get heavy and fall on your roof. Trim them if you think they’d be a problem.
– When you’ve finished up top, come inside and check out your attic. Is it properly ventilated? If not, you might develop mold and mildew, which could be problematic.
– Do you have cracks? What about water stains? This might indicate leaks. We’re here to assist if you have any of these issues.
Windows have a lot of moving parts. Let’s dive in.
– Inspect them for cracks, gaps, or holes, all of which cause heat to escape. You’ll also want to look for deteriorating caulking, rotting wood, and missing glass. Next, check for openings behind the interior window trim or wall. If you’re going to replace the caulk, make sure the area is clean and dry before you begin. Polyurethane caulk is best because you can paint over it, plus it doesn’t shrink, sticks better, and doesn’t attract dirt or dust.
– This is another good option because it helps prevent drafts. There are several types to choose from. Felt, which is affordable and easy to install. The downside is it doesn’t withstand moisture well. Vinyl is still fairly affordable, but trickier to install. Metal works best if you have an older home. The most effective: Magnetic strips, but they cost more.
– If yours are single-pane, these can help reduce condensation on your interior windows. While they don’t provide insulation, they can help with chilly air sneaking in. Some of the most common types of storm windows are plastic sheets and plastic panels. Low-emissivity glass is also a good choice. This allows a bit of the sun’s short-wave infrared energy to pass through and helps keep your home toasty.
Inspecting your siding is a similar drill to canvassing your roof.
– Look for gaps, weak spots, and of course, cracks. If you have any around your windows, doors, or trim, hit them up with some caulk.
– If the caulk is old, dry, or flaking, replace it. Peak offers a couple of durable options: Vinyl, which is resistant to cracking and water damage; it also comes in a wide variety of colors. We also handle Hardie siding (short for “James Hardie”) and it’s constructed of wood and fiber and is also available in a broad range of styles, textures, and colors.
Around these parts, we don’t use our chimney as much as other regions, but when it comes to a sudden chill, which can happen, you want to be able to fire it up and enjoy the heat.
The first thing to do is inspect it (this means getting up on the roof, yet again) and see what’s going on. Often when it freezes, then thaws, deterioration, and gaps can form, which allows airs to escape and moisture to enter.
– This needs to be clean. Dirt and debris can build up, inhibit air circulation, as well as venting of smoke and exhaust. The best course of action is to hire a chimney sweep, who will remove creosote, soot, ash, and anything else that’s inside that’s obstructing it. It’ll also help prevent a chimney fire and increase your home’s energy efficiency.
– Following the flue, examine the masonry. Gaps (notice a theme?) contribute to heat loss and in turn, loss of energy efficacy. If not remedied, moisture can creep in and cause damage. If you catch these early, it helps prevent fires and exposure to harmful contaminants.
– Installing this is a smart idea if you don’t already have one. In addition to helping your home become more energy efficient (another theme!), you’ll also keep out animals, pests, and other debris. An open flue increases the risk of a sudden downdraft, which can push soot, ash, and carbon monoxide gas into your living space. Further, cold air can come in. You’ll not only be shivering but also, reduce your home’s capacity to keep you warm.
Damper and gasket
– Is it airtight? It should be to prevent air leaks. However, if it’s too close to the firebox and fiery temperatures, it’ll warp around the edges. Also, if the rubber gasket is worn, you’ll want to replace it to make sure you’re all battened down—and ready—for the approaching chill.
If winterizing your home seems overwhelming, I’ve got good news: We can help you through it. All you have to do is give us a call.