by | Oct 31, 2017

Winterizing Your Home – What You Need to Know

Making sure your home is ready for winter should be on the to-do list of every Portland area homeowner. Given the Pacific Northwest’s harsh winter conditions, not winterizing your home can lead to damage or at least a headache.

In this month’s post, we’ll go over what you need to do to ensure your home is ready for winter, and what steps you can take if it isn’t.


Winterizing Your Roof

Come winter, nothing is as important to your home as the quality of your roof. You never want to be in a situation where your roof is hemorrhaging water with nothing you can do to stop it.

What Can You Do To Prepare for Winter

  • Remove all debris and branches from your roof. Chances are, your roof has a system to drain water. Debris or branches on top will cause blockages, preventing proper drainage.
  • Trim any dead branches hanging over your roof. Dead branches are liable to collect water and fall down, potentially damaging your roof.
  • Inspect your roof. If you notice any damage, you may need to repair or replace it.

Signs You Need a New Roof

Unfortunately, new roofs are inevitable. They do not last forever, and you need a roof to protect the investment you made with your home. If you notice the following issues with your roof, you should think about having your roof replaced.

  • Your shingles are curled and buckling
  • There are missing shingles anywhere on your roof
  • Pieces of shingle are in your gutters
  • Daylight is coming through your gutters due to damage from the roof boards
  • Your roof is older than 20-25 years

Anyone of these issues is a good sign you need to invest in a new roof.


Winterizing Your Siding

Your sidings main job is to protect your home from the elements. As the weather worsens, any faults in its construction are going to accentuate any existing problems.

Faulty siding can cause:

  • Water to seep through cracks and breaks, causing mold to infest your home
  • Insufficient home insulation, leading to increased heating costs and colder conditions
  • An unattractive home

Inspect Your Siding

Walk around your home and be on the lookout for these clues your siding needs to be replaced.

  • Cracked siding. If cracked, water will get into your siding and wreak serious damage to your home.
  • Loose siding. If loose, your siding was either installed poorly or there has been serious damage.
  • Rotting siding. Besides looking horrible, rot weakens your siding and makes it lose its water resistant quality.


Gutter Maintenance

Gutters help your home stay dry and stable by directing all of your roof’s water run-off to one properly drained area.

Without gutters, water would gather around your foundation and your basement would likely flood. Gutters become even more important if the area surrounding your home is flat or angled inwards towards the foundation.

In addition to flooded basements, a lack of gutters or poorly installed gutters can cause:

  • Damage to your roof due to water running underneath the shingles. This is maximized if there is any snowfall.
  • Water to seep down your siding, causing mold and other damage.
  • Erosion of the soil surrounding your home, causing potential long-term damage to the foundation.

Inspect and Clean Gutters

In early fall before the heavy rain starts, get up on a ladder and take a look at your gutters. In addition to clearing them of leaves and other debris, be on the lookout for signs of damage. This could include

  • Broken fasteners or the gutter pulling away from the roof
  • Cracks, holes, and rust
  • Gutters separating from one another
  • Nails or screws on the ground underneath the gutter
  • Eroded landscape surrounding your house

If you see any damage, you’ll need to get in touch with a trusted gutter installation or replacement contractor. Don’t put your home in danger by not replacing damaged gutters.


Inspect Windows

A window’s importance takes center stage during the winter. Not only can old, faulty windows cost you money with increased heating costs, but they are more easily cracked and more susceptible to leaking. This can cause mold and easy access for critters!

New, properly functioning windows can bring a breath of fresh air into your home! New windows will…

  • Save you money on heating costs (and air conditioning costs in the summer)
  • Make your home less drafty
  • Reduce the condensation on your windows, lowering the prevalence of mold in your home
  • Increase the natural light in your home

Inspect Your Windows

Give all of your windows in your home an inspection before winter to make sure they are in working order. Be on the lookout for…

  • Scratched, broken, or rattling panes
  • Cracked or warped window frames
  • Constant drafts or temperature changes in your home
  • Water stains or peeling paint on the windows
  • Mold or rotting window sills

If you notice any of these, it’s likely time to invest in new windows.


Winterizing Your Deck

Many people don’t think much past installation when it comes to their deck. But, in order for your deck to remain in good condition and stay strong and safe for years to come, you must take care of it.

Winter Deck Maintenance

Help keep your deck in good condition by following these easy DIY steps. Prior to winter….

  • Remove debris from your deck.
  • Power wash your deck to remove any stains or existing mildew.
  • Take off and store any deck furniture.

Deck Refinishing

Before heavy rain descends upon the Portland and Vancouver areas, make sure your deck is resisting water. If the deck planks are pooling and water is soaking in, it’s time to refinish your deck.

Not refinishing the deck will lead to rot, mold, and unsafe conditions.


Need Work Done Before The Winter Rains?

At Cutting Edge Contractors, we have years of experience working on homes in the Portland and Vancouver areas to get them ready for winter.

We’d love to help you winterize your home so you have a warm, dry, and safe winter! Call us at (360) 433-2803 to get a free quote for your home winterization project. We’ll lay out your options and give you an honest assessment of your issue.

Sean Kelly

About the author: Sean Kelly

Sean Kelly is the COO & President of Cutting Edge Contracting. His background in business, accounting, and the construction industry helped him become the award-winning manager of a nationally-known paint company before joining Cutting Edge.

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