Preparing Your Home for a Winter Storm Checklist

Preparing Your Home for a Winter Storm Checklist

When it comes to winter, many Minnesotans think they’ve got it all put together—after all, living here for so many years teaches you a thing or two about icy roads and dealing with the cold. But the fact of the matter is that your home and family can never be too prepared for a harsh winter storm.

Power interruptions, for example, can be deadly if your home can’t properly protect you, and snow accumulation combined with high winds can lead to expensive springtime repairs if your exterior isn’t fortified.

GCM Construction & Maintenance, your Eden Prairie team of roofing contractors and home remodeling experts, is here with a brief list of must-do’s before severe cold-season weather rolls in.

Get Ready Far Ahead of Time

Ideally, pre-snowfall winterization will help shore up your defenses, keep moisture damage out, and stave off the cold. The earlier in the fall you can get these tasks done, the better, but if you still need to check off a few more things before winter kicks into full gear, better late than never.

Hire a Pro for Inspections

Have your home looked over by a professional before winter truly settles in to ensure airtight protection in case of power failures. Your inspection should include:

●        Siding: Look for holes and places the siding might be lifting. Not only can this release your home’s warm air but it can let in cold air and moisture, as well as critters.

●        Windows and doors: Ensure no drafts are blowing in from windows doors. Make sure they’re all sealing properly or add caulking and door draft stoppers as a quick fix. For the most long-term solution, consider investing in new energy efficient windows that do an excellent job of keeping heat in and drafts out.

●        Roofing: Roof inspections are important to do annually, but especially before winter. Catch any holes, missing shingles, and other damage before water leaks into your home.

●        Chimney and fireplace: Have these looked over by a pro annually. While these fixtures can make ideal emergency heating, they also can start fires themselves if, for example, the chimney is dirty.

Trim Back Trees

The CDC recommends that you trim tree branches close to your home because they could fall on your house if any harsh wind snaps them. Ideally, this will be done pre-winter, as working in the cold is unpleasant and downright dangerous.

Make it a habit in the fall when raking leaves to check your tree growth and trim back your trees that may have stretched too close to houses and buildings.

Invest in Proper Insulation

While it seems logical that more insulation for your home is always better, this is not always the case. For example, too much roofing insulation can actually cause moisture damage as it can block vents and forbid humid air from leaving your home. This, in turn, can cause roof leaks, proving downright disastrous in bad winter weather!

Before winter storm season, head up to your attic and take a look at its condition. Is insulation covering any roofing vents? While each roof is an individual and should be seen by a pro before winter, clearing insulation from vents is a great start if it’s safe to do so.

Tend to Your Heating System

According to The Red Cross, “winter storms can last for several days, placing great demand on electric, gas, and other fuel distribution systems.” This means that, before winter, you’ll need to make sure that your furnace is ready to do some heavy lifting.

Getting an HVAC contractor's help is an obvious first step, but your heating system will undergo far less stress if your general contractor also adequately winterproofs your home.

GCM Construction & Maintenance: Here to Help Keep Your Family Safe This Year

Our comprehensive team of general contractors has the wide skill set needed to safeguard your home from winter’s wrath. Give our Eden Prairie office a call today at 952-922-5575.

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