Winter in New Jersey can be beautiful, but it can also be hard on your house. And on your budget! Today, let’s dig into a few practical tips for preparing 3 critical sections of your home before temps drop and snow flies. Making the right moves now will save you from lost efficiency, wasted money, and potential headaches.
Making Sure Your Windows Are Ready for Winter
Windows play a pivotal role in insulation, and making sure they are airtight can save a significant amount on energy bills.
- Check for drafts: Light a candle and move it around the window frame. If the flame flickers, you’ve got a draft. Addressing these leaks will prevent cold air intrusion and help keep you comfy.
- Examine window seals: Over time, caulk can deteriorate. Ensure it’s intact, and re-seal if you spot any gaps or cracks.
- Consider storm windows: If you don’t already have them, storm windows offer an added layer of insulation against the biting cold. They’re not as necessary for modern, double-paned windows (unless you really want the added protection), but they can be a lifesaver for older homes.
- Clean windows: A simple but effective tip. Clean windows allow for maximum sunlight penetration, providing natural warmth during the shorter winter days.
Winterizing Your Exterior Doors Can Keep the Cold at Bay
Here’s a quick and easy checklist to keep in mind:
- Inspect doorframes: Wooden frames can warp or crack over time. Take a minute to check for any gaps and seal them with appropriate materials.
- Install or replace weather stripping: If you feel air seeping in around your door, it might be time to replace the weather stripping. You should also look into a door sweep to ensure a snug fit and cut down on chilly drafts.
- Check door thresholds: These should be in contact with the door bottom. Adjust if necessary to prevent cold air entry.
- Lubricate hinges and locks: Cold weather can make them stiff, but a little lubrication ensures smooth operation throughout the season.
As one other point to consider, door sweeps and weather stripping help but they can only do so much. If your windows and doors are older, it might be time to look into a more modern, energy-efficient upgrade. Design and technology have changed a lot in recent years, and newer models can work wonders for your home’s comfort and efficiency.
Are Your Gutters Ready for Winter Weather?
Gutters play an unsung role in protecting your home from water damage, especially through the wetter winter (and spring) months.
- Clear out debris: Fallen leaves, twigs, and other debris can cause blockages. Clean your gutters to ensure smooth water flow.
- Inspect for damage: Check for signs of wear, such as cracks, rust, or areas where gutters might have pulled away from the house.
- Ensure proper slope: Gutters should have a slight slope to direct water away from the foundation, preventing ice buildup and potential damage.
- Install gutter guards: A proactive measure, these guards can prevent ice dams and clogs, ensuring water is channeled away efficiently.
- Check downspouts: These should direct water several feet away from your home’s foundation to prevent flooding or icing near the base.
Q. Why is it essential to winter-proof windows and doors?
Winter-proofing creates an insulating barrier, preventing cold air from entering your home and warm air from escaping. This results in energy savings and increased indoor comfort.
Q. How often should I clean my gutters?
Ideally, gutters should be cleaned twice a year: once in late spring and again during late fall. However, if you have many trees nearby, you may need to inspect and clean them more frequently.
Q. What are the signs that my windows or doors need replacing?
Persistent drafts, difficulty in opening/closing, condensation between glass panes, or visible damage can indicate it’s time to consider replacing your windows or doors.
Q. Can ice dams damage my gutters?
Yes, ice dams can weigh down and pull gutters away from the home, leading to potential damage. Installing gutter guards and ensuring gutters are clean can help prevent ice dam formation.
Q. Is weather stripping a DIY task, or should I hire a professional?
Many homeowners feel comfortable handling weather stripping as a DIY task. However, if you’re unsure about the process or want a thorough job, consider hiring a professional.
Have more questions? Contact us today at Walker Roofing. We’d love to put our expertise and experience to work for you.