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Many people seek out places to live where they can experience all four seasons. While it can be nice to pass through the changing temperatures, it can also take a toll on your home. When the weather gets colder, there are certain changes you need to be prepared for in order to help your house.

Roof Leaks

The wintertime often brings a lot of precipitation, either in the form of rain, ice rain, or snow. Unfortunately, this also means that homes in the winter are prone to experience roof leaks. The reason behind this phenomenon is that the snow or ice on your roof melts at different rates, and then ends up gathering in certain spots and refreezing. Once all the ice eventually melts, it will end up leaking through the roof as the water cannot dissipate evenly. Leaks can lead to mold or weaken the integrity of your home. You can easily prevent this issue by ensuring that your roof is properly insulated.

Foundation Cracks

On the opposite end of your home, you can also experience problems with your foundations as a result of the cold weather. When it does rain or when the snow or ice melts, it can find its way into any of the small cracks in your foundation. Normally, this would not be an issue because the water itself is not harmful to your home. The problem lies when there is a refreeze before the water has the chance to evaporate. What will happen is that the water in the foundation cracks will expand causing the cracks to expand as well. If you are looking to fix the cracks in your foundation, the best action to take is to seal them. You can try to prevent them by making sure that your roof has a proper draining system that faces away from the house.

Wood Rot

As mentioned earlier, excess water can lead to wood rot in and around your home. However, wood rot does not happen because of one singular leak, but from water damage over time. Once wood becomes rotten, there are very few options you have other than repairing or replacing the compromised wood as soon as possible. The difference between water damage and wood rot is that wood rot can spread with or without the presence of water. This means that you need to take care of the rotten wood as soon as possible. If you are building a home from scratch in an area where winter weather is harsh, you can use treated wood that can withstand water damage and eventual rot.

Driveway Damage

Damage on your driveway is also common in places where you will experience cold weather. Water settling and freezing in cracks is one of the reasons that driveways get damaged in the winter. However, salting your driveway can also cause damage overtime. This is because salt will corrode the driveway, giving way for cracks and a deteriorating driveway. However, preventing driveway damage can be pretty straight forward. For example, asphalt paving has higher maintenance costs than concrete paving. This is because asphalt is not as resilient as concrete paving. If you live in an area where snowfall is common and you can afford it, you can also invest in a heated driveway so that you do not need to shovel the snow.

Escaping Heat

Most likely, you choose to heat your home during the winter because you want to escape the bitter cold from the outdoors. You might notice that regardless of how warm you keep your home, there are still certain spaces where cold seems to seep in. This is especially common around windows, doors, and other openings to the outdoors, particularly when your home is older. As a result, you could be losing heat in your home and be wasting money on your bills. Better insulation and sealed windows and doors are the best way to keep your home at a steady temperature all year, but more importantly in the winter months.

Freezing Pipes

In extreme weather conditions, you need to be watchful of the effects that the below freezing temperatures have on your home. To be more specific, you need to be aware of the status of the pipes in your home. In subzero temperatures, your water pipes are at risk of freezing. This can happen regardless of what the pipe is made from, which is why it is important to act beforehand when you are anticipating dropping temperatures. That said, frozen pipes are not the issue that you need to be worried about. Frozen pipes are problematic when they burst. You can prevent bursting pipes by protecting exposed pipes and keeping the water running on cold nights.

Potential Floods

If you live in an area where your basement has a sump pump, you need to be prepared for potential flooding. Your sump pump is supposed to protect your home from flooding. That said, if the snow is too much for the pump to handle, you will most likely face a flooded basement. Luckily, all you need to do is keep your sump pump up to date and make sure that it is functioning and draining properly. This will protect you when the several feet of snow melt and the pump is able to keep up with the excess water.

Unwelcome Pests

Unfortunately, critters want to escape the cold just as much as you do. This means that pests like rodents will try to find ways into your home once winter hits. Any damage you have on the outside of your home makes it easier for pests to get into your home and take shelter in your insulation. You can guard your home against pests by making sure your entrances are sealed and damages are fixed.

Winter can be a beautiful time outside and a perfect excuse to get cozy inside your home. All you need to do is stay on top of any damage to your home and take preventative measures. Then your home will last through even the coldest winters.

Read this next: How to Future-Proof Your Home with a Remodel

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