Today, we’re speaking about your home’s exterior. Is it ready for the winter? Have you prepared it to withstand the ice, snow, sleet, and gusty winds that can pelt your home for hours or days at a time?
What about drainage? Are your gutters ready to handle the repeated freezes and thaws? Or, in a powerful storm, will they be able to handle the accumulated weight of the colder precipitation?
Get Ready Now, Not Later
The time to think about these items is right now, before it gets too cold or snowy to audit the exterior. The remaining mild and sunny days should give you an opportunity to take a closer look. Then, you can take immediate action to ensure you remain warm and safe inside.
Those actions depend on what you find. Simple clogs in gutters or dryer vents can be cleaned on your own with little or no cost. Other items, like foundation cracks and missing roof shingles, can cost more in time and money. Fortunately, if you address these now, then the labor should be available to repair them.
What you Need to Look for
There are many components to a home’s exterior. Each one needs thorough examination to ensure they’re prepared for wintry days and nights. Here is a list of items to start you off.
Gutters – A good amount of winter damage doesn’t happen at eye level. It takes place near the roofline. Gutters are a perfect instance of this.
Regular open-top gutters cleaned by hand, allow for the proper drainage of freezing precipitation. Their sturdiness, checked by tightening the screws and bolts that attach the gutters to the exterior, helps to hold the weight of heavy, wet snow.
If neither of these are checked, there’s a potential for serious damage. Clogged gutters and downspouts prevent proper storage of water. Therefore, backsplash and leaks might damage the fascia and soffit as well as your foundation. If the supports aren’t tightened, then the snow’s weight can cause the gutters to collapse, taking part of the roof with it. If you have K-Guard leaf free gutters, you don’t have to about maintenance as they are completely maintenance free and comes with a lifetime warranty. If you ever need your gutters inspected, we will come out and perform an inspection for free.
Foundation – As the ground settles underneath your property, cracks in the foundation might be created. These are not the ones to worry about while preparing your house for winter. It’s the untreated gashes and holes in the concrete that can lead to problems if precipitation seeps through.
Before the temperatures dip too low to repair, coat these areas with a fast-drying patch mixture. It may not look pretty, but it will protect the foundation walls until you can sand and paint them in warmer weather.
Siding – Be it vinyl or another material, holes can appear in your siding due to weather conditions or wear. This is another place where moisture can reach drywall areas and cause rotting and mildew. The end result is not only the replacement of the siding but also parts of your exterior walls.
Vinyl and wood spackling or sealants are available to repair these holes. A quick application in calm conditions allow the spackled areas to dry and create a shield for the winter. Once spring rolls around, you can determine the best way to make the necessary repairs or replacements.
Roof – There are many facets to the roof. The fascia and soffit are part of the rafters. If damaged by weather or clogged gutters, these can start to rot and cause instability at the roofline. The rafters themselves need to be checked for any cracks or damage that can cause them to break.
Then there are the roof shingles. Throughout the year, these may tear or break due to summer storms or years of use. When damaged, moisture can get through and cause leaks down your walls or ceilings. The same can be said if your roof vents are loose or the sealants around them become cracked.
Unless you are a skilled roofer, it’s best to leave the examination and repair to professionals. They have the ability to review all aspects of the roof and let you know what needs to be repaired now and what can wait until the spring.
Overall, when properly maintained, these four components keep the exterior of your home safe in winter. K-Guard can be a “one-stop shop” solution for maintenance free gutters and preventative maintenance. Installation of our leaf-free gutter system keep your gutters free of clutter during the winter months. Contact us for a free estimate and a sense of ease for the upcoming season.