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How to Prepare Your Roof for Winter

Your Essential Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

Brrrr. Get ready! Winter is just ahead. Frigid weather can cause a variety of inconveniences, from uncomfortable indoor drafts to fallen limbs and ice dams on your roof.

Before temperatures drop and winter weather arrives, tackling some basic home maintenance projects can prevent costly problems during the winter and preserve your biggest investment.

Get ready to take on the season with confidence (and from the cozy warmth of your home). Here’s how:

Avoid Winter Damage with Preventative Outdoor Maintenance

Prepare your yard for winter

To protect your possessions, cover or remove things that could get damaged in a snowstorm or harsh weather: patio furniture, toys, gardening supplies, hoses, and lawn equipment. Cut your grass one last time, and pick up any fallen limbs, debris, and leaves so you can give a crisp, finished look to your yard.

Prevent cold air from invading your home

Check your caulking around all your doors and windows (and any place something like outside faucets or air vents penetrate a wall). Replace any deteriorating caulking to reseal and prevent drafts. Check the weatherstripping on your doors and windows, and replace it as needed.

Remove your window screens

Increase refreshing natural light in your home during the winter by removing your screens before temperatures drop. Your home interior will benefit from the solar heat gain, and you’ll help preserve your windowsills.

Have your roof inspected

Contact a reputable contractor (like us!) to have your roof inspected and checked for damage. They’ll look for missing shingles, or any other sign your roof may need repairs. If it appears you may need a roof replacement in the near future, the pros can give you a good idea of when to plan for that.

Keep pipes from freezing

Outside, disconnect your garden hose. Indoors, insulate pipes near windows, doors, or unheated areas of your home. If temperatures drop considerably, leave faucets dripping a little indoors. Keep your heater at 55 degrees or higher throughout the winter, even if you leave town.

Update your tree maintenance

When tree limbs brush up against your home’s roof or siding, they can contribute to costly moisture intrusion. Cut dead branches or limbs away that pose a safety hazard or encourage moisture intrusion on your roof or siding. Proper tree maintenance each fall ensures tree limbs are not setting up your home exterior for problems.

Pruning trees that are dormant during the winter can help protect their health and stimulate growth when spring arrives.

Prevent ice dams

When melted snow backs up behind a dam of ice, leaks and damage to your roof can result. Ice dams form when the edge of your roof is colder than the upper region, causing ice to form around your eaves. It’s much easier to prevent an ice dam than it is to treat one. Here’s how:

  • Clean your gutters. Ensure they are free from all debris, bird nests, toys, and anything else that could keep water from draining properly. If gutters aren’t clean, water gets backed up in them, causing leaks, ice dams, or damage to roofing or siding.
  • Inspect your attic. Your attic should have adequate insulation and ventilation to help keep ice dams from forming on your roof.
  • Deal with snow on your roof. Consider hiring someone to remove snow from your roof after winter storms.

Indoor Pre-Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

Check batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors monthly

This is particularly important during the winter when windows are closed, and you use your fireplace more often. Make sure you have an adequate number of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home (particularly in bedrooms, on each floor, and in the kitchen). For your protection, monitor them monthly and change their batteries as needed.

Clean your fireplace

While gas fireplaces should be checked for any nests or debris blockage in the chimney, if you have a wood-burning fireplace or wood stove, hire a certified chimney sweep to clean them out, safeguarding your home from a house fire. (Note: It’s important to have your chimney cleaned because the buildup of creosote from last year’s fires can contribute to a house fire.)

Take care of your furnace

Change your air filters regularly. If you have a gas furnace, have it cleaned every three years. If it isn’t working properly, contact a reputable company to have it checked so you can get any needed repairs done before winter.

Protect your flooring

Here’s an easy way to prepare for winter and prevent damage to your home: invest in good floor mats inside and outside each entrance to your home. This will keep your flooring free of tracked-in snow, ice, and road salt—preserving the longevity of your floors.

Switch your ceiling fan direction.

Flip your ceiling fans’ reverse switches so they move in a clockwise direction over the winter. This simple switch creates an updraft that makes warm air (which normally rises) go back down into the room—saving you on utilities throughout the winter.

Beef up your emergency supplies

In case of a power outage, ensure you have adequate shelf-stable food and bottled water set aside. Keep a flashlight (with fresh batteries in it) in an easy-to-find place, and ensure you have a good first-aid kit.

Get winter weather supplies early

Ensure you’re ready for winter weather by replacing any damaged snow shovels and picking up ice melt and salt for your walkways and driveway.

Trusted Roof Replacement for Your Home’s Protection

Faulty roofing can create costly damage to your home. When you need a replacement roof, contact us for a free roof inspection and a same-day estimate.
At Best Choice Roofing, we’re recognized by Owens Corning as one of the top 1% of roofing contractors in the United States.

Take a moment to learn more about our roofing services.

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