Winter weather causes slippery conditions, structural damage to buildings from excessive snow loads, water damage from frozen pipes, and can create dangerous ice dams on the roof. Here are five larger improvement projects to prepare your home for the winter season.
1. Upgrade your windows and/or doors
Create a plan for your home before and after a winter storm.
If windows or doors are showing signs of aging, have gaps, or other areas of concern replace them to avoid potential interior or exterior water damage.
2. Invest in a generator
- This can be especially crucial when temperatures are below freezing leaving your home vulnerable to frozen pipes.
- Determine if a portable or permanent generator is the right solution.
3. Prevent ice dams
- When replacing your roof:
- Talk to your contractor about adding an ice and vapor moisture barrier.
- Consider roof heat cables along the eaves of the roof to prevent ice dams. Make sure the heating cables are UL Listed, FM Approved, or Canadian Standard Association (CSA) Certified.
- Enclose Solid Fuel Burning Appliances in Attics. Solid fuel burning appliances contribute to warm air build up and should not be placed openly in the attic space.
4. Replace insulation
- Technology for insulation has come a long way in recent decades which could help better retain your home’s heat. Make sure the insulation has an R-value. The R-value depends on insulation type, thickness, and density. The higher the R-value, the greater the effectiveness of the insulation.
5. Upgrade your appliances
- If your heating/air conditioning system is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it for additional efficiency.
- Install a programmable thermostat.