Five ways to prepare your house for winter

Wooden houses covered in snow

Preparing for winter looks different for everyone. Some people are busy winterizing their boat or other summer toys, while others are simply dreading the cold weather that is approaching. However, one thing that every homeowner should do, is properly prepare their home for the impending winter weather. In order for your roof and siding to adequately protect you and your home from the harsh winter elements, you need to make sure they are prepared for winter.

As Roofing contractors in Roscoe IL, we’ve helped hundreds of homeowners maintain their homes. Keep reading to learn more about five ways you can prepare your house for winter.  

1. Fall cleanup 

The end of summer and early fall is the perfect time to engage in some fall cleaning around your home. While trees are great additions to any property, you want to make sure that they are ready for winter to avoid any potential damage to your roof or siding in the event of a winter storm. Clearing related debris, such as needles or leaves, from your roof can help prevent mold and mildew buildup during those wet winter months. It can also encourage proper water drainage, which will help protect the structural integrity of your roof. Be sure also to clean out your gutters or eavestroughs as they help control the flow of water to ensure it flows away from the foundation of your home. Proper water flow can also prevent ice buildup and the formation of potentially dangerous icicles around your home. 

While you are removing debris from your roof, don’t forget to clean your siding. Cleaning your siding before winter can help prevent unwanted insects from entering your home and also prevent the buildup of mold or mildew over the winter months. 

Fall Cleanup Check List

  • Clean any debris off your roof
  • Prune and remove hanging branches
  • Sweep or pressure wash your roof and siding
  • Clean your gutters
Firefighter cutting a tree branch
Photo by Helena Jankovičová Kováčová

2. Inspect your roof 

It is very important to inspect your roof before winter to mitigate any potential problems. The last thing you want is a problem with your roof during the coldest and harshest months of the year that are the most difficult to undertake repairs. As a rule of thumb, homeowners should do a full inspection of their roof twice a year, once in the fall and once in the spring. 

Tips for inspecting your roof before winter 

  • Look at the roofs edges 
  • Look for interior leaks 
  • Look for any signs of mold or moisture 
  • Look for cracks or splitting 
  • Look for loose panels or shingles 
  • Look for any signs of damage  
  • Look for warped or rotted wood 
  • Look for any areas where ice could form underneath a panel or shingle 
  • Look for leaky, sagging or misaligned gutters 

Getting into the habit of inspecting your roof will help you more easily detect any potential problems.

(Want to know if your Roofer did a good job? Click to read our blog now.)

3. Replace old caulking 

A lot of homeowners don’t realize that the exterior caulking found around your home needs to be replaced as it does not last forever. While caulking helps to insulate your home and keep unwanted water out, it tends to expand in the summer and shrink in the winter, which means it should be inspected before winter. In particular, it is important to check the caulking around narrow joints, joints between the siding and the foundation, vent pipes and counter-flashing. A few other places to inspect around your home are chimneys, skylights, windows, and exterior door seals. 

You might be wondering what to look for when inspecting your caulking. You will want to look for cracking, wear and tear, peeling, or flaking. It is crucial that the caulking is tight and secure because if it comes off during the winter, your home is vulnerable to water, air and dirt seeping in. The ideal time to replace caulking is in the fall or the spring, before the harsh weather arrives. 

Worker applying caulk to window
Photo by Erik Mclean

4. Check your flashing 

Flashing is a thin sheet of water-resistant material installed at intersecting points around your house, such as around windows and doors. Its main function is to drain and direct water away from your home and serves as a barrier to prevent leaks. If the flashing on your home is damaged, this can cause much bigger problems for your home and your roof. 

The flashing on your home is vulnerable to the harsh weather conditions, which can cause it to loosen, tear, corrode or blow off. That’s why it is important to inspect the flashing around your home before winter arrives to ensure it is all intact. 

5. Paint or seal your siding 

This may come as a surprise but painting your siding can actually help prepare your home for the winter weather. A good quality paint, primer and sealer can help protect your home from moisture and prevent damage from the cold weather, snow and ice. Maintaining the paint and seal on your siding can also extend the lifespan and prevent you from having to undergo frequent repairs or replacements. 

While preparing your roof and siding for the winter takes time and effort, it could save you time and money in the long run. A reliable roofing company can also help inspect the flashing and roof of your home. 

Contact us at Cross Country Construction to learn more.

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Cross Country Construction

Cross Country Construction is a full-service contractor in Roscoe, IL.  We expertly perform all construction projects from roofing to gutters to interior remodeling.  Call us at (815) 315-0637 to learn more.

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