Between the howling winds, frigid temperatures, damp snow, and jagged ice, winter can have a brutal impact on your home. Your home's siding is particularly vulnerable to damage during winter, even if your siding is new or well maintained. Luckily, there are several things you can start doing now that will help ensure your vinyl, metal, wood, or fiber cement siding remains safe throughout the winter.
Here are a few tips to help you protect and prevent damage to your siding all winter.
1. Schedule an Inspection Before Winter
Contact a professional and have your siding and roof inspected before winter. The inspector will check for any minor damage, including cracks, chips, or even broken or missing pieces of siding. Any minor damage to your siding can be made worse by the harsh conditions of winter. For homes with fiber cement siding, you may need to have any gaps between the planks repaired with caulk. If you have wood siding, make sure that it is properly sealed or painted.
The average wood siding on homes will need to be repainted every four to six years, depending upon the conditions under which the house is placed. If you live in an area where the weather conditions are harsh, you may need to repaint your home more often. Also, ask the siding expert to replace any wood siding panels that are rotten, as the snow and ice of winter can cause even more damage.
2. Eliminate Any Potential Hazard from Around Your Home's Perimeter
Cut back any tree branches or shrubs that are touching or rubbing against your siding. A windy day, heavy snow, or ice could cause place pressure on these branches and shrubs, which can cause these branches to scratch and damage your siding. Pick up any toys, outdoor furniture, or any other objects that could be picked up by the wind and thrown against your house.
Clean out your gutters as well. In addition to causing ice dams, which are damaging to your roof, and potentially damaging to your siding. When snow and ice laying on top of your dirty gutters begins to melt, the water that leaks down can refreeze and damage your siding.
3. Clean Snow and Ice Off Your Siding
Periodically clear off the ice and snow from your siding throughout the winter. This will help prevent any damage that can occur from the ice and snow as it melts, refreezes, and seeps in between the seams of your siding panels. For example, if you have a thin layer of fluffy snow, use a broom to gently wipe the snow off your siding.
Snow and ice can be removed with a plastic bristled scrub brush. Use water on your siding with caution, as this can refreeze and cause more ice buildup, which can be even more damaging to your siding. Once the winter is over and the snow and ice melt, clean your siding with soap and water. This will help remove any residue on the siding.
4. Pay Attention When Snow Blowing and Shoveling
Finally, use caution when you are shoveling or blowing snow from your driveway, sidewalk, and walkways. Point the snowblower chute away from your home. There could be rocks, ice chunks, or other debris in the snow that can be thrown against the siding, causing damage. Also make sure to toss snow and ice away from your siding, while you are shoveling to prevent damage.
There are several ways you can prevent damage to your siding throughout the winter. Learn more and address issues with your siding by contacting companies like Select Exteriors.