Prepare Your Home for this Winter Season
The South Carolina winter seems to settle in a little later than it does for other regions in the United States. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t prepare for the cold weather and rain that comes in through December, January, and February.
And with today’s weather patterns, there is no guarantee that the Midlands won’t get heaps of rain, ice, or snow.
When it comes to the winter season, make sure that you take the basic steps necessary to keep your home warm and dry. Inspect your roof, seal your doors and windows, and set your home up for lower bills. Follow these basic steps on how to winterize your house as the start for your home winterization this year.
Insulate Doors and Winterize Windows
Because homes can settle, door and window frames can move in ways that allows cold air to enter your home. Check around windows and doors for any drafts or cooler temperatures. In cases where drafts are occurring, reapply any weather stripping.
Some windows will let in cold air regardless. In these cases, you can purchase a window insulation kit to help mitigate heat and energy loss. These kits typically involve sealing the window portion with plastic, and all you need is the kit and a hair dryer to get it set up.
Either of these approaches will help you lower energy costs and keep rooms more comfortable during cold and rainy weather.
Reverse Your Indoor Fans
Most fans have a switch on them that reverses their rotation. In summer months, fans should rotate counterclockwise to push cool air down and keep rooms cooler. In winter, fans should spin clockwise, which pulls cool air up and pushes warm air back down into the room.
Check that your fans are running clockwise in the winter to help keep your rooms more comfortable.
Clean Out Your Gutters and Downspouts
As fall gives way to spring, fall leaves give way to heavy rains and potential ice or even snow. If your gutters are full of leaves, the sudden addition of heavy rain or ice can cause damage to the gutters. Not to mention how rain can back up into the roofing and cause even more damage.
You can use convenient (and pricey) gutter cleaner systems to push leaves out. Or you can get on your roof and manually remove the leaves. If you are looking to do the latter, we recommend you give your local roofing company a call to help you with on-the-roof work.
Check and Adjust Attic Insulation
Over time, insulation in your attic can lose effectiveness… especially if there has been damage to the roof that allows water or moisture in. And as your heater runs throughout the winter, poor insulation can lead to energy loss and higher heating bills.
Have a roofing or insulation expert check your attic to see if your home needs more or replacement insulation. This will help immensely with comfort and cost over the winter.
Cut Down and Remove Overhanging Branches
If you have large trees on your property, then check to see if any of those trees overhang your roof (or even neighboring property, if applicable).
As trees soak in moisture over the winter, and potentially get a coating of winter ice or snow, they can drag and possibly break onto your roof. Even drooping or scraping branches can damage the shingles on a roof. That’s a huge problem in the South Carolina winters, but even more so in the springs and summers.
Before winter hits, trim back your trees and make sure your roof is clear. After winter is over, have all debris that ends up on the roof cleared out.
Get a Complete Roof Inspection
Before the winter even begins, have your roof inspected. Call up a good roofing company in your area, preferably one that you have a relationship with, and have them provide an inspection. Roofing experts can and will get up on your roof to look for possible damage. If they catch something like damaged sub-roofing, ruined shingles, or anything that could allow water in, they can suggest repairs that can keep your home dry and warm. If nothing else, they can suggest spot patching and places where you might want to re-shingle your roof.
Any roofer worth the money will provide a free consultation and estimate based on their inspection. And if you have a trusted roofer, they aren’t going to suggest work that you don’t need.
Trust us when we say that there are few things more frustrating than a roof leaking in winter. So, don’t wait until it happens. Catch potential issues before the cold and wet settle in.
Winterizing Saves Time, Money, and Inconvenient Surprises
Taking some time to winterize you home is going to end up saving you money in the long run. It keeps your home warmer, which means that you can leave the thermostat lower. It also means that your bills will stay low in a season where they would traditionally be higher.
But most importantly, you will maintain the structure of your house, especially when it comes to your roof. Roof damage isn’t always obvious until it’s too late and you need significant repairs. By scheduling regular inspections and repairs around winter you can prevent major issues.