How to Prepare Your Home’s Exterior for Cold Temperatures and Snow

Nov 17, 2016

It’s crucial to finish all of your final home exterior projects before old man winter arrives. Frigid temperatures and snow can wreak havoc on your home’s outer structure. So, here are a few home improvement projects that will apply to most homes.

“If you follow this convenient checklist, your home will be ready before the first snowflakes fall,” said Scott Cline, owner of J&B Construction, Inc., serving southeastern Wisconsin homeowners since 1958 as a provider of high-quality exterior home improvement products and services.

Cline explained the importance of winter proofing the outside of your home. “Many winter problems at home start with the roof,” he said. If you feel comfortable climbing the roof, you’ll want to look for cracked or broken tiles as well as any roof sheeting that has become loose or rusted. “It’s necessary to replace these materials before winter arrives. You can avoid the hassle of climbing on the roof and make the repair process easier if you hire a professional,” added Cline.

Since you’re already inspecting the roof, you will want to clean out your home’s gutter and downspout system as well, to ensure everything is draining properly. “Cleaning out your gutters and downspouts allows moisture to flow away from the home in the winter and reduces the potential of ice dams,” said Cline. Installing gutter mesh or a covered gutter system can prevent clogged gutters too.

You’ll also want to trim those trees. Vegetation is essential to any yard, but dead or diseased trees and tree branches pose a risk to people and your home when weighted down by heavy snow. It’s a good idea to inspect all of the trees on your property, but be particularly mindful of any trees or branches hanging over or near the house. If you notice that the tree is diseased or the branches have died, they should be removed before the winter snow can make them a hazard.

Don’t forget to turn off the water. In extremely cold temperatures, pipes can freeze and rupture, causing both external and internal damage to the home. To avoid this problem, you will want to turn off the water to all external spigots and then drain the hoses. Homes that have an exterior sprinkler system should hire a professional to close down the system for the season.

Remember to inspect the chimney. Homes with working chimneys tend to rely heavily on them during the colder months. Not only does a clean chimney reduce the risk of a fire hazard, but it also eliminates harmful toxins in the air.

Windows and doors are included on this list, as they can directly impact your energy bill. “You will want to check all the weather stripping around your windows and doorframes for leaks to prevent any heat loss and replace weather stripping, if necessary,” said Cline. In addition, you should replace all screen doors and window screens with storm doors and windows. If you have wooden window frames, you will want to examine them for any signs of rot or decay. If needed, repair or replace the framing to maintain structural integrity. Next, check for drafts around windows and doors. Use caulk inside and out to prevent any heat from escaping. Lastly, inspect the windows for cracks, broken glass, or gaps. Repair or replace them, if needed.

Finally, you will want to examine the exterior walls of your home. Paint that is peeling or blistering on the house indicates a problem. Peeling paint signals that the existing paint film is failing and can no longer protect the siding of the building. If left untreated, the siding will begin to deteriorate, leading to costly future repairs.

“If you are proactive when it comes to winter preparation for your home’s exterior, you will lower your energy bills, increase the efficiency and lifespan of your home’s components, and make your property safer,” said Cline.

Enjoy Peace Of Mind
 The only complaint I have is when I have J&B do my roof in another 30 years or so, is Dave their sales man (a great guy) would not guaranty I could get the same great crew I had this time. They did a fantastic job. Much better than the last roofing company did. A nice bunch of guys. Did a very nice job cleaning up. I'd give them 10 stars but 5 is the limit. If you need a roof done this is the company you want to do it. One more point I need to make. The guys that did the chimney flashing are artists. I went up on the roof when they were done and was very pleased with not only the roofing job but the sculptured sheet metal work. It's kind of a shame it's on the roof and not hanging on the family room wall :). You get the point. Hire em. You'll like em. 
 We live in a historic designated neighborhood and recently had our 30 year wood shingle roof replaced with another wood roof and new gutters. From Day 1 of the project to the final day, the entire team was responsive, professional, and very competent. When some minor changes were proposed by us they quickly and effortlessly complied. After going through this experience with J&B, I would highly recommend them to anyone considering a roof and gutter replacement, whether it be a simple or complicated project. 
 J & B did an amazing job from start to finish. The initial meeting at my home took place exactly at the time that was agreed upon and Scott was thorough in his explanations and transparent about costs. When the time came to begin the project, the team that showed up was friendly, professional and timely in getting the project done. The cleanup afterward was such that it looked like they hadn't been there at all. The roof looks great, there were no surprises and Scott came by to inspect the work and explain the warranty upon job completion. I would highly recommend them. 
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W140 N10589 Fond du Lac Ave, Unit C
Germantown, WI 53022
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