Preparing Your Home For Winter
Winterize Your Home With These 3 Quick and Easy Tips
Looking at the forecast for Bellevue Washington over the next few days you'll see some chillier temps during the day and overnight and it's a great reminder of a few key things to take care of as temperatures start to drop in The Pacific Northwest. Here are 3 tips for protecting your gutter system:
1. Cold Weather Can Shrink and Crack Your Gutters- Cold temperatures are going to typically cause materials to shrink and contract. The concept here isn't unique to gutters, it's with a lot of things. How about your car tires losing PSI in the winter? Same sort of concept. Heat causes expansion and cold causes contraction. With regard to your gutter system specifically, certain materials are going to be more susceptible than others to the cold temperatures. Aluminum and steel are two materials that we see a lot for gutters and they will definitely be effected here. The metal pieces will often shrink and retract and gaps or cracks will develop at the adjoining spot connecting two pieces. Debris and leakage can happen here pretty easily. Having a professional clean and inspect your roof, gutter, and downspout system before winter is a good move. Check out our gutter cleaning bellevue wa page for more information if you happen to live nearby and want more information.
2. Insulate Your Windows- Here's a quick way to determine if you have a leak coming in from the outside. Take an incense candle or a little piece of toilet paper and when standing by the perimeter of your windows light the incense/paper and see what the smoke does. Swirling smoke would be your confirmation. (And Yes, please be careful to not light your house on fire here with this test). If you need to insulate a window you have a few choices ranging in price from cheap to pricey if you end up going with the insulated curtains and need to color match :) .. Weather stripping is available at any hardware store, is easy to apply and remove and can do a decent job. Window insulation film is the next option where you'll apply a thin film to the window and then use something like a hair dryer to apply it. The pro of the film is it definitely helps with energy efficiency. The downside here is a lot of homeowners find the film to be bubbly and cloudy. The next route is shades and or a shades and curtains combination. Cellular Shades can be a great way to go and keep your home efficient in the winter AND the summer as well. They're a bit more expensive but they can be a great addition for the home year round. If you need advice or have questions on what might be best for your home we're happy to point you in the right direction.
3. Winterize Outdoor Faucets- If you have a faucet and hose attachment like most homeowners do around Bellevue and The Greater Seattle Area you'll probably forget to take care of this very simple task as winter approaches. It's not necessarily the worst problem ever as we don't have severe winter temperatures like a lot of the rest of the country does but nonetheless, it's a simple thing to do and will pay off in the long run. It's pretty simple to do: 1. Disconnect any hose/splitter/attachment from the spigot. Water can get trapped in there if it isn't disconnected and freeze up. 2. Check for drips and leaks. Now is the time to address it. 3. Cover with a hose-bib fixture. You've seen them before, they are the little black or grey foam looking caps and are sold at any hardware store for a few bucks. Periodically inspect the integrity of the cover during the winter and inspect for dryness.
Taking a little time to get your house squared away before the temperatures hit the 20's is going to pay dividends for you in the long run! Stay Warm Out There!