When you think of winter, what comes to mind? You may think of cold weather and gently falling snowflakes. Or maybe you think of pine trees and cozy holidays, surrounded by family. Winter certainly has its beauty, but it can also be a harsh season in many ways. Your home, in particular, may feel the brunt of that cold air, wet snow, and jagged ice.
Luckily, you can keep winter from beating up your home too severely with proper maintenance. The following are some of the key ways that winter takes a toll on your home, along with the winter home maintenance tasks that alleviate damage.
1. Roof Damage
The freeze-thaw cycles can be hard on your roof. If a little water works its way under a shingle and then freezes, it expands in the process, prying that shingle off the roof. This usually happens near the edges of the roof.
You can help prevent winter roof damage by making sure your attic is well-insulated. This will keep snow near the peak from melting and trickling down to the edge. Cleaning your gutters in the fall will also help ensure water flows off your roof properly, rather than freezing on the edge.
2. Water Damage Around Windows
Snow can blow into the crevices around windows, and then seep in when it melts, causing water damage to your window frames and surrounding materials. You can prevent this by checking your weatherstripping before winter. If it is torn or otherwise damaged, have it replaced. Also check and replace the weatherstripping around doors.
3. Falling Trees and Tree Branches
When snow and ice accumulate on an already-weak tree branch, they can cause that branch to snap. If the branch then falls on your fence, your home, or your garage, you have a problem.
To prevent damage due to fallen trees and tree branches, your winter home maintenance plan should include a visit from a tree service. Have them remove any dead or damaged branches from your trees before it gets too cold out.
4. Driveway Damage
Winter can be really hard on driveways. If your driveway already has some cracks, water can seep into them, freeze, and make the cracks larger. So, if you have time to do so, it's wise to have your driveway cracks filled before winter.
Also pay close attention to any de-icing agents you use. Stay away from rock salt, as it can damage asphalt and concrete.
5. Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes can crack, leading to major leaks. To prevent this problem, have a plumber check to ensure your pipes are well-insulated leading into winter. Also, have your HVAC equipment serviced. Many cases of frozen pipes start with a failed heater.
Get ahead of winter home maintenance, and you can reduce the toll that winter takes on your home. If you need help maintaining and caring for your home, contact Hassle Free Home Services to learn about our monthly and seasonal plans.