Exterior winter preparation is the best way to assess the condition of your exterior before the weather turns cold. Get your inspections in with professional contractors with plenty of time to allow various repairs or replacements. In this article, the team at Shanco will provide you with the seven steps to complete so you can kick back with a nice cup of cocoa and enjoy the cold. 

Exterior Winter Preparation is Important to Keep Your Home Safe and Dry 

It is never fun rushing around trying to get the last bit of winter exterior work done before the snow, ice, and cold temperatures. Shanco is here to help!  

Schedule a Roof Inspection with the Experts at Shanco 

Why a roof inspection? Summer can be rough on roofs. First, there is the heat bearing down on your shingles. Second, extreme summer weather can take a toll on your shingles. High winds can blow off shingles or even slightly lift them to lead to roof leaks. Hail can cause damage that roofing experts should assess.  

A roof inspection will look at the insulation in your attic to make sure the perfect amount is present. If there is too much insulation, an ice dam may form which can lead to leaks inside your home.  

Cleaning Gutters is a Great Start to Exterior Winter Preparation 

Summer and autumn will leave dirt and debris in your gutters. Clogged or blocked gutters will wreak havoc on your home during the winter. If your gutters are clogged, the rain or snow/ ice melt will have nowhere to go. Gutters that overflow can cause foundation damage and leaks in the basement. Frozen gutters can lead to ice dams, roof leaks, or ice and water behind the fascia. Read our blog post about tips and tricks on cleaning your gutters. 

Conduct a Siding Inspection  

Your siding can experience dings, dents, cracks, and warping all throughout the spring and summer months. Cut those problems off at the pass with an inspection before winter sets in. If there is an opening for water to penetrate, it should be addressed to prevent freezing water inside the walls of your home.  

Clean Your Windows and Give Them a Brief Inspection 

Windows can let chilly air in, especially older windows or ones with broken seals. You can lower your electric bills by installing storm doors and windows in the fall. Additionally, a cleaning/ inspection will keep you informed of the window condition. If you have single-pane or drafty windows, window cling will do an excellent job keeping the cold out until you can get new windows installed.  

Get Your Chimney Ready for Winter 

Chimneys are great, cozy, and inviting in a home but the chimney sees the brunt of weather for over a year. During that time, chimneys may develop some issues. When it comes to cleaning and inspections, start the process ahead of the fall busy season. You want to do this early because if there are repairs that make your chimney unusable, you want that to occur during the season that you will not use it! 

If you burn wood or have a gas insert, you should schedule a yearly cleaning with a trusted chimney sweep. This will remove creosote build-up, nests, debris, and more and will ensure that your chimney is safe to burn in.  

Schedule a chimney inspection too. Your inspector will look at the condition of your chimney inside and out. 

Shanco performs some masonry chimney work such as tuckpointing, capping, flashing repair, and waterproofing services. 

Trim Overhanging Tree Branches to Prevent Them from Falling on Your Home 

Tree cover provides shade and natural beauty around your home. However, they can grow and cause problems with your home. If you have large overhanging branches, hire a professional tree removal company to trim them back. You should avoid having large branches over your home in case of intense winds, ice storms, and more. By removing these branches, you are reducing the risks of punctured roofing, pierced siding, broken windows, and demolished gutters.  

You will want a professional company to remove the branches for several reasons. First, they are experts and can ensure that branches fall in the right direction. Second, they should carry insurance in case an accident was to occur. You do not want to trust tree trimming to an uninsured person. Then you would be paying out of pocket for any damages. 

Do not Forget Your Hose Bib for Exterior Winter Preparation 

Shanco is not into plumbing, but one thing is for sure, you cannot forget your hose bib. If it freezes, the line can split and make a huge watery mess inside your home. Here is how you stop that from happening!  

  • Disconnect our garden hose and store it in the garage or basement 
  • Turn off the hose bib and shut off if it has one. 
  • Let all the water out of the bib. This will prevent water from staying in the line. 
  • If you do not have a shut-off valve, place a plastic or styrofoam bib cover to prevent it from freezing. 

Shanco Recommends Conducting Exterior Winter Preparation 

Your home is a huge investment. Be sure to take the time to prepare it for the winter every year. If you notice problems with your roof, siding, windows, gutters, or chimney, reach out to the team at Shanco. We have been serving the Washington D.C. metro area, NOVA, and Richmond for 30 years. Contact us for a complimentary inspection.