Winters here in Minnesota can be brutal. Getting your home ready for winter starts in the warmer months. Let’s look at the best ways you can get your home ready for the colder months of the year.
#1 Upgrade Your Windows
Windows are the least insulated part of your home’s exterior. If you have single pane glass or decades-old double pane, it’s time to upgrade your windows.
New energy-efficient windows offer triple-pane gas-filled glass with low-e coatings which help reduce heat loss. There are a number of styles and options available, making it easy to find the right look at the right price point.
#2 Add More Insulation
In the colder climate of Minnesota, it’s important to have adequate insulation. Your attic should have an R-49 to R-60 level of insulation. Your floors should have insulation with an R-value between 25 and 30.
How can you tell if you need more insulation? Go up into the attic, taking a tape measure with you. Measure how much insulation you have on the attic floor. If you only have 3 to 4 inches of fiberglass or cellulose, you need more.
#3 Clean Your Gutters
Clogged gutters are a leading cause of ice damming. As the water backs up in the gutters, it causes water to back up under the shingles, forming an ice dam. This can lead to water infiltration and leaks.
Before the first winds of winter arrive, clean your gutters so the water can flow away.
#4 Tune-up the Heating System
It’s important to have your heating system serviced at least once a year. Call your local HVAC company and set an appointment for a tune-up. The technician will inspect the unit, clean it, and
identify any repairs that need to be made. Addressing problems early prevents expensive repair calls later.
While you are thinking about your heating system, be sure to stock up on filters so you can change them as needed.
#5 Get Roof Repairs Addressed
Snow and ice can put a lot of weight on your roofing material and deck. You want to make sure the roof is in good condition before the first snow hits. It’s best to have a roofing professional come out to inspect and make any repairs needed.
Failure to address loose or missing shingles can lead to water leaks and other roofing issues during the dead of winter.
#6 Caulk and Weatherstrip Doors and Windows
One of the simplest, and least expensive, ways to improve your home’s efficiency and comfort is to plug air leaks around doors and windows. You can detect leaks with a simple candle. Light the candle and slowly run the flame around the edge of the closed window or door. Wherever you see flame movement is a potential air leak.
Use caulk or spray foam to fill gaps around the frame. Use weather stripping to close gaps around the moving edges of the door or window.
#7 Have Your Chimney Cleaned and Inspected
If you use a wood-burning stove or fireplace, have the chimney inspected at least once a year. Call a certified chimney sweep to do the job. The sweep has the knowledge and experience to look for problems. The sweep can also clean the chimney to remove flammable creosote. This helps prevent house fires.
#8 Install a Programmable Thermostat
If you still have a manual thermostat, it’s time to upgrade to a programmable model. A programmable thermostat allows you to control the temperature when you are at home, out of the house, or sleeping. A certified HVAC technician can install and program it for you. After that, it’s a matter of making adjustments as the seasons change.
#9 Insulate Water Pipes
Pipes can easily freeze during the cold winter months if they are not properly insulated. If you have any bare pipes, especially on exterior walls or in the basement, you need to get them properly insulated before winter. Pipe insulation is not expensive and is easily installed by the average homeowner.
#10 Repair Sidewalks, Patios, and Pavers
Ground heave can cause concrete and loose pavement to pop up. It’s best to have any repairs made before the first frost hits. This can help prevent heave damage and ensure you can keep the surface clean with minimal effort. Take the time to mark the edges of the surfaces, with fiberglass poles or driveway markers, so you know where to shovel or plow after a winter snow storm.
These simple tasks and upgrades will make a significant difference when it comes to your comfort this coming winter in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. Contact LB Solutions, LLC, today. We are the ones you can count on for all of your roofing, siding, window, and gutter needs.