Why winterize your home? You have insulation in the walls, right? You have comforters and quilts, right? Winterizing your home means more than checking the fluffy stuff in your attic. It is a sure path to saving money, reducing energy demands, and improving your family’s comfort during the harsh Massachusetts winters.
What is Winterizing?
Winterizing your Massachusetts home means preparing it, inside and out, for low temperatures, harsh winds, snow, and ice. If you think of your home’s building envelope as a suit of armor, you are working in the autumn to find and fix every weak spot in that armor. That means:
- Cleaning out the gutters or hiring professionals to do the work
- Wrapping interior pipes with insulation, which is especially important in an unheated basement to prevent freezing, bursting, and flooding
- Ensuring your storm door, front and back exterior doors, and the entrance to the attached garage all close firmly and seal correctly
- Checking outdoor steps and walkways for loose pavers, rotten stair treads, missing mortar, or cracked concrete; winter already brings enough slip and fall hazards without the worry of twisted ankles from a broken tread
- Trimming overhanging tree branches so they cannot fall on your roof
- Safely covering and storing patio furniture and your outdoor grill
- Inspecting and replacing brittle caulking around windows and doors; you may want to hire a professional service for second-story windows
- Having your HVAC system inspected and cleaned by your local heating, cooling, and air conditioning service so you can depend on reliable, comforting heat all winter
- Replacing batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors
- Demarking your lawn’s edge for wintertime plowing
- Flagging your fuel oil storage tank’s fill pipe for wintertime deliveries
- Storing away all garden hoses, lawn equipment, and outdoor warm-weather play toys
- Giving the lawns a final, thorough raking so downspouts can empty easily
Much of the work can be done by you, the responsible homeowner. But some jobs, like getting an annual roof inspection and maintenance visit, must be performed by skilled, local contractors.
We Massachusetts homeowners like to stick to facts, so if you need some strong reasons why you should winterize your home, consider:
- Repairs to your home’s roof, exterior, gutters, attic, and interior are far harder to accomplish in winter than in spring and summer
- You can achieve better energy efficiency, meaning lower bills and a smaller carbon footprint
- Winterizing your home reduces the risk of frozen pipes that can cause horrific basement floods, nasty leaks in bathrooms and the kitchen, and ruined possessions everywhere
- You sleep better knowing your home is snug, protected, and toughened against the elements
- Preseason winterizing can uncover minor issues that are easily corrected at a lower cost
Your Massachusetts home’s roof is perhaps the strongest defense against winter you have, so treat it like royalty (it does crown your castle, after all!). Have your roof inspected by your local roofer. Your reliable residential roofer can closely inspect all areas of your roof and ensure everything is at its best:
- Ridge vents
- Soffit vents
- Field shingles (or metal panels)
- Flashing, curbs, and caulking
When Not Why
Armed with those facts, the more important question becomes not why but when to winterize your home. Fall is an ideal time to winterize so that as the last leaves drop, you know your home is ready for the first cold spell.
By scheduling professional service visits from gutter, plumbing, and roofing contractors for the autumn, you can know your home is braced and ready for cold weather without actually working in the cold weather. Most of us remember trying to cover sandboxes and collect the garden hoses as the snow falls.
Fall is not too early to be ready for ice storms and blizzards. You gain peace of mind knowing all your home’s systems, from the roof and gutters to insulation and plumbing, are in great shape.
You can even gain economic benefits by spreading out some of the costs over a month or two, so if an emergency repair is needed, you have the financial resources to call for the help you need.
By working with the right roofer, you can also gain access to innovative solutions to handle winter’s most menacing problems: ice dams. A truly great roofer can help you decide on a high-quality, long-lasting roof de-icing system. Such a system gives you the ultimate peace of mind, freeing you from worry about ice dams, water leaks, or even roof cave-ins.
Winterizing your home isn’t a weekend’s work. You need to prepare and work with skilled, local professionals to best protect your investment. O’LYN Roofing in Norwood, Massachusetts, can help you prepare your home for winter’s worst weather. Contact us today to learn all we can do for your home’s roof, skylights, and gutter system.