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Expecting a Frigid Winter? 2 Exterior Home Upgrades That Can Help

House during winter
When you live in a part of the world that experiences harsh, snowy winters, you might wonder what you can do to reduce your heating costs and protect your home from damage. Although it can seem like a big task, making a few simple improvements could tip the scales in your favor. Here are two exterior home upgrades that could help you to protect your place and why you won't regret the investment in the long run.

1. Gutter Heating Cables

Icicles dripping from the sides of your home might make those cold winter days feel beautiful and nostalgic, but over time, that melting ice can cause a long list of problems, including ice dams. As snow and ice melt and move towards your gutters, the water can refreeze near overhangs where the edges of your home are thinner, leading to heavy buildups.

In addition to putting additional strain on gutters and potentially damaging shingles, these ice dams can create a stopping point for melting water, allowing it to pool around your roof. Over time, this pooled water can make its way underneath shingles, leading to interior roofing leaks, mold accumulation, and even rotten roof trusses.

You can prevent ice dams by installing gutter heating cables. These low-voltage heating cables can either be installed along the surface of your shingles near the eaves of your home, or underneath gutter guards where they won't be seen.

When snow and ice accumulate on your roof, the water will melt when it reaches these heated cables, allowing water to flow away from your home like normal. Heated cables can even be snaked through downspouts to prevent frozen water clogs, which ensures you keep your home safe and dry.

If you decide to install heated gutter cables, choose a color similar to your roofing shingles if you will be zig-zagging the cables along the edges of your roof. Whatever you choose, select versions with thermostatic controls to prevent home fires and high energy bills.

2. Storm Doors

Doors are notorious for leaking carefully heated air during the winter, especially if you have children who aren't always mindful about keeping doors closed. Rain, snow, and hail can also cause exterior damage to your door, making your home look a little unkempt. Fortunately, by adding a simple storm door, you can reduce drafts and protect the appearance of your home.

Storm doors are designed to add an extra layer of protection against harsh weather. Available in a range of materials, including fiberglass, wood, and aluminum, storm doors can also come with screen or window inserts, so you can easily enjoy mild weather during the spring and summer and warm light during the winter. 

Because storm doors are typically designed with energy-efficient features like low-emissivity glass and springs that keep the door closed properly, some versions can reduce energy loss by as much as 50%, which helps keep your heating bills to a minimum. As an added bonus, locking storm doors also add additional security to your entryway to prevent burglaries.

When you choose a storm door for your home, think carefully about what you hope to accomplish by installing one. If you are looking to reduce your heating costs, choose an energy-efficient door rated with a high R-Value. On the other hand, if you are looking to bolster security, look for a variety with a reinforced steel frame and deadbolts.

If you are concerned about protecting your home this winter, start by working with our team here at Neville's Inc. As experienced contractors who help with everything from window and door replacements to siding, gutters, awnings, shutters, and three-season rooms, we can help you to customize your home for whatever the forecast holds. Call our office today to talk with a specialist.