Preparing your home for winter can potentially involve endless steps. As many of us know, a homeowner’s work is never complete. So, to help you out, we compiled this short list of what we believe are some of the most important steps to preparing your home for the winter months.
Seal your Home from Moisture and Keep Heat In!
Your house should be sealed from moisture to ensure your home is as energy efficient as possible and to avoid damage from moisture seeping in. Sealing your home also involves minimizing the amount of heat that can escape from the inside. A great first step is to apply caulking to the joints/seams on your exterior which allow moisture to seep in. These “weather-points”, as we like to call them, include around the windows and doors. By using a good quality elastomeric caulking product, you can prevent cold drafts and water intrusion. We recommend this Tower Tech product; we use it on nearly all of our exterior paint jobs.
Another important tip for the windows and doors is to make sure that your weather-stripping is not worn out, and is adequately sealing your doors and windows. (Weather-stripping is the rubber strip underneath along your doors / windows that helps insulate your home). This is an inexpensive fix that can make a great difference.
Check Your Paint Job
If there are any raw, unsealed wooden areas on your home exterior, we advise sealing those areas to avoid damage that can be caused by the harsh weather of the wet Seattle winter. This may be as simple as applying a coat of primer (for example, to new siding), even if you are not able to paint it just yet. Sealing your siding for the winter will help prolong its life, until you have the opportunity to apply your desired paint. A clear sealant or stain for natural wood may also be a desirable solution. Remember that decks, being a horizontal surface, should be re-finished at least once a year.
Tip: Although it may seem ideal to just paint your house now, keep in mind that as we move closer to winter, the integrity of any paint job in Seattle may be severely compromised. (As of October, Sound Painting Solutions is no longer performing exterior painting work in 2014.) We recommend always being proactive when it comes to your paint job, by take preventative measures before peeling and flaking becomes a severe problem.
Other Simple Steps
There are several other smaller tips you can take advantage of to prepare your home for winter weather. Make sure to cover your outdoor furniture to prevent any damage or rust. To protect your pipes and hoses, we recommend placing a cap on exterior faucets. Also be sure to drain your hoses and stow them away to prevent freezing or damage to the hose. In addition to this, make sure that all of your gutters and downspouts are working properly. We also recommend cleaning your gutters by removing any debris that may have accumulated over time. You may also wish to purchase gutter-guards to prevent this type of build-up in the future; this is another simple, inexpensive solution.
Keep in mind that we barely scratched the surface with these tips! There are myriad sources online to assist you in winter-proofing your home. We hope that these few tips will help you get started, but if you would like more information in the meantime, here are a few links that may be helpful: