Did your fall to-do list include prepping your home for the cold weather?  No?

Winter’s already here in the Minneapolis area, and it’s important to act now before it gets even colder outside. Every single home should be prepared for winter to ensure that heating bills are as low as possible and that no damage occurs from ice or snow throughout the season.

As a licensed Minnesota exterior home improvement company serving the Twin Cities, we thought we'd give you some help.  Here’s a list of helpful tips to walk you through the most vital steps, to get your home ready for another cold and snowy winter.

Protect Your Roof:  It goes without saying that your roof is important, but many people neglect their home’s most vital covering because it’s a pain to maintain. That’s something you have to avoid doing. Examine it from a ladder and make sure that all the flashing is intact and that there aren’t any loose sections. Also double check that all the shingles are in place, and replace any that are worn or have fallen off.  Now that temps are cold and snow has fallen, we don't recommend getting up on the roof to do inspections or work yourself.  You'd be better off (and safer) to get the assistance of a roofing contractor. Maintain Drainage System:  Most modern roofs include a drainage system system that’s designed to shed water as it falls down onto your home. The gutters and downspouts work together to direct water down and away from your house, so it doesn’t seep in through the roof or other sections. If you haven't done it yet, clean out all the gutters and downspouts to remove sticks, leaves, pine cones or anything else that might have clogged the system up. Even though this seems silly, make sure to call a licensed Minnesota exterior home improvement company to come fix or replace any damaged gutters.  Gutters are essential to removing melted snow from the roof.  Clogged gutters can contribute to ice dam formation. Window Seals:  Every window should serve as a seal that fights against the outside cold. It’s up to you to verify that your windows aren’t allowing a draft into your home. A useful trick to check your windows is to hold up burning incense or a candle in front of the window and slowly move it around the edges. When the flame wiggles, or the smoke moves away from the window, you know that you have a draft in that area. Use foam insulation or caulk to seal up any potential gaps. Attic Insulation:  Finally, look over the attic. Examine it to be sure all the insulation is intact so the cold can’t get in. Flip over the attic fan if you have one; this will direct hot air down into the house. Also, caulk any potential leaks in the attic.  Also make sure attic vents are functioning properly to avoid problems in your home or with your roof.  Not only do insulation and attic ventilation contribute to your home's energy efficiency but also they prevent ice dams. If your roof is prone to ice dam formation, maybe a metal roof could help.

Following these simple steps will help you maintain your house and get it ready for winter, but there’s only so much you can do on your own. If you want to ensure that your house is ready for the cold, call Quarve to find out how we can properly prepare your home for the chilly winter months. We are a licensed Minnesota exterior home improvement company that can help.  Estimates and inspections are always free, so give us a call today.