Being on the tail-end of summer, it might seem a little silly to think about pre-winter home maintenance. There are still plenty of hot days left, after all! But the sooner you begin to put your to-do list together, the more likely it is to get done, and the less stressful it will be doing so. Plus, your home will thank you—it’ll come into spring standing strong.
As necessary and helpful as it is, though, pre-winter prep might seem complex or overwhelming for the homeowner who already has a lot on their plate. That’s why Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors is here to help.
Here are a few tips on how to handle a few must-dos before the snow starts to fly.
Gutter Cleaning: A Top Priority
Your gutters are a critical part of your home’s moisture management system. Without their funneling capabilities, water and melted snow from your roof would simply slide down into the earth below. This, then, can cause the soil to shift around your foundation and lead to cracks—which, in addition to being dangerous, cost quite a pretty penny to fix.
This fall, you must clean your gutters. Ridding them of leaves and debris allows meltwater to safely progress through them and drain where it should drain: a safe distance away from your home. In addition to protecting your foundation, you’ll save yourself the classic Midwestern horror of the springtime flooded basement, and you’ll also prevent poor soil conditions that can crop up thanks to excess moisture—making spring-season landscaping all the easier.
Learn more about the relationship between gutters and landscaping!
How Do I Clean my Gutters?
Great question! There really isn’t a right or wrong way to do it, so long as you’re being safe.
We cover a few methods in our seamless gutters blog, alongside additional purchase considerations if you’re looking to keep a cleaner system.
The traditional method involves climbing up with a secured ladder and shoveling debris into a bucket that you bring along with. If you don’t like heights, garden hose extensions can sometimes enable you to work from ground level.
If you’re a bit of an overzealous gutter cleaner, consider using a tarp spread out below your cleaning area so that you can easily dispose of overflow.
Seal Up Your Drafty Home
Everything from a shoddy window installation to an ailing set of siding can cause drafts; we cover the topic in detail in our blog.
Drafts are improperly sealed areas of your home that allow interior air to exit and exterior air to enter. They’re horrible for maintaining consistent interior temperatures, can cause your HVAC to pull unneeded overtime, and hike up your energy bills like few other things can.
You may not notice them much during the temperate fall months, but when your furnace kicks into gear and the temperatures plummet, you’ll wonder why your home is still so chilly, or why your HVAC system is starting to groan!
Good Housekeeping states a few common areas that drafts may crop up: electrical outlets, windows, baseboards, and switchplates, to name a few. You can find them in a variety of ways, from using a flashlight to a dollar bill, though a thermal leak detector is by far the simplest and quickest.
Once you’ve found your draft, seal it up with a caulk or a door stopper! Keep in mind, though, that anything DIY tends to be a temporary fix. For bigger gaps, it’s best to call a pro.
Take Action Against Animals
Nature is wonderful—when it stays outside where it should be, that is Unfortunately, wintertime is hibernation time for a variety of critters, so they’ll be cruising the neighborhood for a spot to curl up for the season. Those who stay active are also looking for a nice, warm home base. In either case, an illy maintained exterior is prime real estate.
We cover preventive maintenance in this respect in detail on our roofing contractor blog. The gist: It’s best to take care of any storm damage needs before the season lengthens.
If you don’t, you risk animals exploiting your home’s weaker areas. Trimming back your trees will also take away a key access route and make it more difficult for pests to get to your gutters and roof. Ensuring the overall health of your roofing system also will keep the critters at bay.
A strong roof is an impenetrable roof, and therefore one that’s unattractive as a housing possibility.
Tony’s Lifetime Exteriors: All the Services you Need for a Ship-Shape Home
From siding to roofing and beyond, we’d be proud to be a part of what keeps your home looking and working at its best. Reach our Sauk Rapids office today at 320-252-9086.