For many of us the cold is not our friend and the thought of these long Winter months rolling in can be dreadful. We can’t ward of off the next few months for you, but if you are in the Winter slump, let’s at least make sure your home is winterized and you aren’t hit with any unexpected situations that then cause for a partial or full re-paint of your home.
The word ‘winterize’ is thrown around often. We need to winterize our cars. Our homes need winterized. Even our wardrobes need winterized. What does all of that really mean though? It means we must take proactive steps to ensure our cars, homes, and bodies can tolerate the frigid temperatures, maintain necessary warmth and prevent unforeseen breakages.
While we would love to talk warm boots and fancy snow shovels, we will stick to our wheelhouse and talk with you about unintended paint needs that may become necessary if your room is not properly cared for. These are important items to check off your list before those continuous below-freezing days hit your local area.
Avoid Unplanned Painting-Winterize Your Home
Clean Gutters to Avoid Staining
Cleaning gutters can certainly be a messy and time consuming job, but it helps ensure that you maintain the cleanliness and operation of your gutters and downspouts. Not only can a build-up of Fall leaves and debris lead to water backups, leaking and overflow to surfaces below, the leaves can also leak color and leave impressions on the surfaces of your gutters. This then may need real attention come the Spring. If this is the case, you are likely looking at least a good powerwash, but you may also need a re-paint if stains have leaked down on your gutters or your fascia boards and siding.
Replace Furnace Filters to Keep Air Flow
There are several reasons as to why you should replace your furnace filters (and more than just at Winter). In terms of painting you will want to ensure your filters stay regularly cleaned. This helps keep air flow strong and reduce the opportunity for dust and soot to adhere to surfaces of your ceilings and walls. Failure to do this is one contributor of ‘ghosting’ stains that may appear in your home. We will talk more about that in the next section!
Ensure Adequate Insulation-Avoid Ghosting
Who would ever think to check insulation? It is not exactly a thought about portion of your house; that is, until you wonder why your walls look like they are sweating. Or you see black stains appearing on your ceilings. It sounds scary, it looks scary and it definitely will require some stain blocking to occur and likely a full ceiling or wall paint job to remedy.
So what is ghosting? Good question! Ghosting refers to black stains that typically occur along the framing of a house where poorly insulated attics or walls meet the warmth of your interior and cause condensation to form. This condensation can act as both a glove for dust/soot (from your furnace) to adhere to, and can also cause black, soot-like staining to appear from condensation. Good news-it is not mold, which can be a common concern. Bad news, you need more insulation or this will continue to happen and you will constantly be re-painting and trying to hide those areas.
Winterize Pipes-Disconnect Hoses
We think this one probably goes without saying, but disconnect your hoses from exterior faucets and ensure they are properly sealed for the cold months ahead. There is nothing worse than a bursted pipe and the amount of water damage it can leave behind. You may be looking at whole wall, room or house painting if water gets left behind in the pipes leading to your outdoor faucets and they freeze/burst in the Winter.
Seal Exterior Surfaces-Don’t Let Water Sit
For many of us this time may have already passed in the season, but there are always those few 50/60 degree days that surprise us late in the year. If you have not already taken the time to apply wood sealer, stain or exterior paint to your wood surfaces (especially horizontal wood surfaces), do it! Doing this, along with adequate snow removal during the Winter to prevent days and days of sitting moisture, will help protect warping, cracking and rotting of your wooden surfaces.
We hope these tips help you prepare for a warm and cozy Winter without any unexpected surprises. Have a wonderful holiday season.