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7 Tips to Upgrade Your Home Exterior for the Approaching Winter

Single-family house with metal-clad facade

Eric Petschek & Schnee-Eule

As winter comes around, preparing your home exteriors becomes an essential task. The chill in the air can bring challenges like freezing temperatures, snow, and ice. These might jeopardize your comfort and your home’s well-being. Facing these concerns can, therefore, be a struggle.

Preparing your home’s exterior is not just about aesthetics; it’s about safeguarding your investment and ensuring a warm and energy-efficient haven for yourself. In this article, you will dive into practical and unique tips to help upgrade your home exteriors for the upcoming winter season.

Exterior Inspection and Repairs

Before the winter season sets in, starting with a thorough exterior inspection of your home is essential. This step is crucial to identify and address any issues that could worsen during winter. Begin by checking your roof for missing or damaged shingles, as they can lead to leaks when snow and ice accumulate. Repair or replace any components as necessary.

Examine your siding for cracks, gaps, or indications of wear and tear. These weaknesses may permit chilly drafts to infiltrate your residence, diminishing energy efficiency. Reader’s Digest advises applying sealant or weather stripping to stop air leaks surrounding electrical outlets, pipes, chimneys, doors, and windows.

Additionally, to stop drafts, think about adding insulated curtains or shades to the windows. Adding an extra layered plastic to windows and the draft stopper around the base of doorways is another way to keep cold air out. The plastic covering might act as a barrier to keep chilly drafts out of the house.

Proper Insulation and Weatherstripping

Begin by checking your attic insulation. If it’s insufficient or deteriorating, add more insulation to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Insulating your walls and floors can also contribute to better heat retention.

Don’t forget to check your basement or crawl space for insulation. Properly insulating these areas can prevent cold air from infiltrating your home from below. Ensure that your pipes are adequately insulated to prevent freezing and potential damage.

However, despite having everything examined and completed, never overlook having a backup strategy, states TulsaPeople. Having a generator handy at this time of year is a smart idea. You need not worry about going without heat after a severe winter storm in areas like Oklahoma, for example, thanks to a generator.

Additionally, the risk of carbon monoxide and electrical shocks are the two main hazards of utilizing a generator. Therefore, be sure that gas-powered generators are never used indoors.

Winter-Friendly Landscaping

Consider planting evergreen trees and shrubs in your garden. These plants keep their leaves throughout the year, adding a hint of greenery while serving as a natural barrier against the wind. Additionally, they contribute to preserving your privacy and shielding your home from chilly winds.

Installing a layer of mulch around your plants and flower beds can be beneficial in winter. Mulch acts as an insulator, helping the soil retain heat and moisture. It can protect the root systems of your plants from freezing temperatures.

Furthermore, pay attention to your walkways and driveways. Keep them clear of snow and ice to ensure safe access to your home. Investing in a snow removal tool, like a snow blower or shovel, is a practical choice.

Single-family house nestled in a forest under the snow

Outdoor Lighting and Safety

Well-lit pathways and driveways are essential to prevent slips and falls. Clear any debris or obstacles from these areas and keep them well-maintained. Consider adding non-slip mats or salts to reduce the risk of accidents on icy surfaces.

Additionally, install handrails for stability if you have stairs or uneven terrain in your outdoor space. They can be especially helpful during icy conditions when surfaces become slippery.

Make sure your home security system is operating effectively. Numerous contemporary systems provide remote access, enabling you to keep an eye on your property, even when you’re away from home.

Upgrading Fascia Board

One often-overlooked aspect of preparing your home exteriors for winter is upgrading the fascia board. The fascia board, located beneath the roof’s edge, serves as a critical element in safeguarding your home against moisture and weather-related harm.

Inspect your fascia board for signs of rot, decay, or damage. A compromised fascia board can allow water to seep into your roof structure, leading to leaks and even structural problems. Replace any damaged sections promptly to ensure your roof’s integrity during winter.

According to Belco Forest Products, you can go for a rustic appearance for your board. Or maybe look for a combed board, ideal for concealing nail heads and other natural flaws. The best part is that it provides the right amount of roughness for paint adherence. Additionally, you can go for a natural, simplistic appeal of a more conventionally textured look created by fine teeth resawing.

Consider installing a drip edge along the edge of the fascia board. This small addition helps channel water away from the fascia, preventing potential water damage and ice dams. It’s a relatively simple upgrade that can significantly protect your home from winter’s harsh conditions.

Gutter Maintenance

Prior to the arrival of winter, conduct a thorough examination of your gutters, checking for debris like leaves, twigs, and dirt. Blocked gutters have the potential to obstruct water flow, resulting in overflow and potential damage to your home. Clear away any blockages and contemplate the installation of gutter guards to deter future debris accumulation.

According to Forbes, investing in a professional gutter cleaning service may seem like a minor expense, but it can save you valuable time and effort. Professionals possess the necessary experience and expertise to work safely on ladders, which can be a hazardous task for the average homeowner. In addition to removing debris, these experts can also access and address any gutter damage.

The national average cost for professional gutter cleaning stands at approximately $0.80 per linear foot, translating to a total of around $160 for a typical house with 200 feet of gutters. On the lower end, for single-story homes, gutter cleaning costs can be as low as $0.40 per foot. 

However, for multi-story houses, comprehensive gutter cleaning expenses may surpass $2.00 per foot. It’s important to note that downspout cleaning services may incur an additional cost of $50 to $100 for the entire project.

Exterior Paint and Finishes

Check for any peeling or chipping paint, as it can allow moisture to seep in and cause damage. Repaint any areas showing wear and tear to create a protective barrier against the elements.

Consider using a high-quality paint or finish specifically designed for exterior use. These products are more durable and resistant to extreme temperatures, ensuring your home remains protected throughout winter.

Give particular consideration to wooden surfaces, as they can deteriorate and become vulnerable to decay when exposed to moisture. The application of a new layer of paint or stain can effectively protect the wood, prolonging its longevity.

Beyond aesthetics, exterior paint and finishes also serve a crucial role in enhancing the insulation of your home. Properly sealed surfaces can help maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and reduce energy costs during the colder months.

Preparing Home Exteriors Is a Smart Investment

Preparing your home exteriors for winter is a smart and practical investment. These simple yet essential upgrades are crucial to safeguarding your home from the cold, snow, and ice. These measures not only protect your property but also enhance its energy efficiency, curb appeal, and overall durability. 

By taking these steps now, you can ensure a cozier, safer, and more efficient living environment during the approaching winter season.