10 Ways to Protect Your Home from the Winter Weather in Minnesota
December 2020 by Heartland Roofing Siding and Windows
The adage, “prevention is better than cure” is still applicable to date. The best time to prepare and protect your home from Minnesota’s tough winters is during fall. Take the time to identify the risk your home faces, and the measures you can take to keep it safe. Since Minnesota’s winters tend to be frigid, preparation and winterizing your house is key to going through the winter in safety and comfort. It is also a good way to avoid incurring huge repair bills in spring. As you prepare for winters, here are a few things you need to consider:
- Clean Your Gutters
If your gutters are blocked, they can damage your foundation, roof, and landscaping. As you prepare for winter, you should at least clean your gutters in spring and fall. Apart from the occasional cleaning, you should also clean them after a major storm that tends to send leaves flying. The right approach is to clean from a ladder instead of the roof. If you can, get a spotter or hire a professional to do the cleaning for you.
- Seal Windows and Doors
Your heating bill would increase because cold air is leaking easily through cracks around your windows and doors. Weatherstripping your doors and caulking your windows can help to keep the house warm. If the last time you did it was last time, then this is the time to go back and check whether everything is in place. Take time to inspect your weather-stripping and make sure there are no leaks. Get a window insulation kit and properly apply the wrap to the inside of the window for that extra layer of protection.
- Trim Your Trees
Your trees can cause a lot of damage to your home if the branches fall on your roof. Apart from winds, winter snow and ice are common culprits for making tree branches to fall. Trimming the branches that overhang your house in time can play an important role in protecting your roof. You can also hire a tree surgeon to do the work for you and ensure everything is in place.
- Seal Your Deck
To keep your home safe, you need to apply a good sealant every few years or choose from a range of available permanent sealants. While opaque stains tend to last longer, clear treatments last for shorter periods and need to reapply every year. Any unsealed deck will attract mildew that will likely rot. Take time to seal your deck in fall without having for spring like everyone else. This is also a good time to check the deck for any damages that may have occurred during summer.
- Check and Change Your Furnace Filters
As you prepare for winter, check the instructions from your manufacturer regarding the filters. Some furnaces may need filter replacement only in the fall while others require checking through the winter. Take this time to ruin the furnace to make sure it still works before it starts getting cold.
- Clean Your Chimney
You should clean your chimney early enough before winter. It is custom practice for individuals with a wood fireplace to clean the chimney to reduce the risk of fire. Doing so at the right time not only makes sure you are safe but also ensures you got a way of keeping warm in the cold season.
- Insulate Your Pipes
For those with pipes in the basement, this is the time to cover them with foam insulation. Wrap the pipes outside with heat tape to reduce the risk of frozen pipes. This will also help in reducing any problems and damages that can be caused by frozen pipes in your home.
- Put Away Lawn or Patio Furniture
Before winter arises put away or cover your lawn and patio furniture, grill, or other items that you had kept outside during summer. Ensure the outdoors is clean, all kid’s toys have been gathered and put into the garage or indoors.
- Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
The rule of thumb is to run your ceiling fans counterclockwise during summer and clockwise during winter. This will ensure that warm air is moving in the right direction for the season. The good thing is that most ceiling fans are reversible but just pressing a button.
- Winterize Your Garden
Winterize your sprinkler system and unhook the hoses before the first frost. Make sure you have emptied the rain barrel and turn it over before a hard freeze. Failure to do so may cause it to crack or even explode in the worst-case scenario. Empty the gas tank of your lawnmower or use a gas stabilizer to ensure it is safe.
Preparing for winter is quite straightforward and simple if you know what to do. These simple steps will help you reduce your heating bill during the season and avoid expensive repairs to your home after winter.
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