Winterize While it’s Warm: Part One

Yes, old man winter is nearly three months away, but if you do any shopping this week you’ll notice fall décor on sale already and Christmas items everywhere in the aisles. Winter is just around the corner! So along with raking leaves and harvesting tomatoes, homeowners should be planning to winterize their homes. Aim for the next few weekends while the weather is still warm.

Since the weather is still great for outdoor tasks, we’ll begin the process with the exterior of your house.

Inspect the roof. When the winter wind starts howling, you’ll be glad for a solid roof over your head! Right now, you can check flashing to ensure that rain and melting snow can’t enter the home. Look for and replace worn or missing roof shingles and search for other signs of damage. If you’re unable or unwilling to climb onto the roof, you can actually see from the ground using a pair of binoculars, then a professional handyman can tackle the necessary repairs.

While you’re looking upward, see if there are any dead or overgrown tree limbs that could break during a storm or heavy snow and damage the roof.

Clean out the gutters. You can do this job once most of the leaves have fallen. Using hands or a utensil, remove leaves and debris then rinse the gutters with a hose. As you’re rinsing, pay attention to water flow. Inspect for leaks or misaligned gutters to see if any repairs or replacement are needed. Also check the down-spouts to see if they’re carrying water away from your foundation, where water could cause cracks or other damage. A bit of gutter care will prevent problems this winter and spring when melting snow starts to run off the roof.

Seal exterior cracks and gaps. Air sealing your home, along with proper insulation, give you the best bang for your buck when it comes to energy efficiency. Walk around your house searching for gaps wherever one building material meets another (like siding and foundation) and look around openings where pipes or wiring enter the home. Any of these gaps can be sealed with caulking. Windows and doors may need caulking or weather-stripping, and it’s a good time to look for signs of damage such as cracked glass, loose components, rot or corrosion, and evidence of moisture seepage. If moisture can get it, so can icy winter air!

As you make your way around the house, keep your eyes open for cracks in the foundation. They could widen over time, causing water seepage and possibly the loss of structural integrity. Larger damage can be repaired by a contractor, or fix small cracks yourself by injecting an epoxy or polyurethane foam material. If you have a basement, consider purchasing shields for the window wells, or cover them with plywood for the winter.

Now your house should be “buttoned up” against winter from the outside. Next blog, we’ll take you indoors with a furnace inspection, window sealing, ductwork repair, pipe insulation and (of course) we’ll get you climbing around in your attic to inspect your insulation. Or if crawling through a dusty attic isn’t your thing, be sure to call RetroGreen Energy for a thorough energy test and insulation evaluation.


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