A Snowbird’s Guide to Preparing Home Exteriors for Winter

Many of us will be escaping the Mid-Atlantic this winter in search of warmer weather. Some leave before the first flakes fall, while others wait for the new year in order to spend the holidays with family and friends. But whenever you choose to take your winter vacation, a snowbird must first address several important issues to ensure his or her home’s exterior is ready for the extended time away. Here are some tips to help protect your nest before flying south for winter.

Exterior Inspection

Start by walking around the house to identify any potential problems. Look for cracks or openings that could give animals a way into the home. Carefully inspect your siding for any loose or exposed areas. Even though vinyl siding is famously low maintenance, that doesn’t mean it’s immune from the effects of time. If a loose panel is left over winter, it could result in cracking and make your home cooler, not to mention providing an entry point for pests or water. If you need any repair or replacement work, the siding installation experts at Schaefer Exteriors is here to help. We serve homes throughout the Mid-Atlantic with quality workmanship and competitive prices.

Protect Your Property

Trimming the tree is a holiday tradition, but it’s also an important part of preparing your home for winter. While on your exterior inspection, check the property for dead trees and dangerous branches. Even low-hanging limbs are at risk of damaging windows or the roof during high winds or ice storms. Make sure branches are trimmed and dead trees are removed before going on vacation. This further protects your house by limiting the number of large twigs that will break and lie in your yard all winter – a signal to thieves that no one is home.

You also should clear your porch, patio, or deck of lawn chairs, grills, ornaments, and other items that could be blown around by strong storms. Move these accessories into a shed or garage if available. If storage space is lacking, secure them to the ground and cover with tarps. Additionally, make sure any patio drains are cleared of debris to minimize flooding risks.

Roof Review

You never know when roof damage can occur, and if exposed areas are left unprotected over a wet winter, you could return to a flood of long-term problems. Start by clearing your roof of debris. Organic matter like pine needles and leaves can rot over a winter, weakening and damaging shingles. Make a note of any loose, deteriorating, or missing shingles and have them replaced or repaired before departing, otherwise you may experience leaks and serious water damage. Cleaning gutters is another important part of winter roof maintenance. Accumulations of leaves, pine cones, and other material prohibit proper drainage, leading to the formation of ice dams that can harm not only the gutter, but also your shingles.

Eventually, water damage will lead homeowners to needing a new roof. Winter roof replacement can be a trying time, but hopefully you are comforted knowing that Schaefer Exteriors is only a phone call away. For more than 40 years, we’ve been tackling Mid-Atlantic roof replacement projects, and we can complete yours before your vacation or even while you are away.

 

 

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