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Pre-Winter Checklist: Exterior Home Maintenance Tasks

Winters can be unforgiving on our houses. Even if you don’t encounter a snowstorm, the plummeting temperatures and harsh ice can cause a significant amount of damage to your home, especially the exterior. And of course, no one wants to do unexpected repairs in the middle of winter, much less pay for them.

To prepare your house for winter and avoid costly damages, here are the necessary tasks you should do to your home’s exterior before winter comes:

Plan your snow removal tactics

Dealing with snow is a common headache in the winter, especially if your area experiences heavy snowfall for most of the season. As early as now, you should plan your snow removal tactics to ensure that your driveway and all the essential parts of your property remains relatively snow-free. If you don’t have a regular snow removal company yet, start looking for a company that offers residential and commercial snow removal services in your area.

This is also the best time to prepare your snow removal tools if you plan to do some snow removal yourself. Ensure that your shovel, snowplow, sidewalk scraper, and other tools are out and ready in the garage. If you have a snowblower, change the oil and replace the spark plug if necessary.

Trim trees

Cut off branches that are situated too close to your home, as well as dead ones that can fall off at any time. Doing this will prevent branches from falling on your home and causing damage in the event of a winter storm.

If the branches are too big to cut on your own, hire an arborist to do it for you. Do not attempt to remove a large tree branch by yourself, especially if you lack the skills and equipment to do it safely.

Clean gutters and drainage

A clogged gutter is a common problem in the winter, one that can lead to significant roof damage when the clog puts excess strain on it. Before the snow starts to fall, it is imperative that you clear your gutters of debris to prevent any clogging during the winter. If you wait too long to do this, it can be incredibly difficult to get rid of both the snow and the debris on your own.

To clean your gutter, scoop out the debris by hand or with a small shovel. Then, flush the gutters with a hose to get rid of dirt and smaller pieces of debris, as well as to ensure that your gutters are draining properly.

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Power wash your exteriors

Since you won’t be able to do much cleaning outside your home when winter comes, now is a good time to get rid of the dirt that has stuck onto your home’s exteriors. Use a power washer to wash away dirt from your exterior walls, siding, patio, and deck. However, ensure that you learn how to power wash correctly to avoid accidentally damaging your home. If you’re not sure how to use a power washer, it may be better to hire a professional to clean your exteriors for you.

Clear your yard

When the temperature starts dropping, start clearing your yard of things that you won’t be able to use in the winter, such as lawn ornaments, cooking equipment, seasonal tools, and furniture. Store them inside your garage or shed to protect them from the elements. Also, be sure to do this as early as possible to avoid having to rush when the first snow falls.

Check outdoor lighting

Go around your house and check outdoor lighting to see if you need to replace any bulbs. Having adequate lighting is imperative for your safety as it helps avoid slips and falls on ice and snow. And since winter days are often darker, making sure your property is well-illuminated can also boost your security.

Seal drafty doors and windows

If warm air is allowed to escape through drafty doors and windows, your home’s heater has to work harder to maintain the temperature in your home, thus increasing energy costs. To control your energy bill and keep the house at a comfortable temperature, seal leaky doors and windows before winter rolls around.

You can do this by using weatherstripping, felt, rubber tubes, or foam tape, whichever is easiest and cheapest to install. If you’re not sure which windows and doors are drafty, light an incense stick and see if the smoke leaks through the gaps.

Preparing your home for winter is the best way to avoid costly damages and the hassle of getting them repaired. To ensure that your house is ready for the harsh season, start with these maintenance tasks that should be done to your home’s exteriors.

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