Making sure your home is prepared for the changes that come with the seasons is important in any climate and environment. However, in the more extreme environment of Alaska, that can see annual seasonal temperature ranges from -40 to more than 100 Degrees Fahrenheit, preparing for winter becomes an absolute critical necessity.
The first steps to preparing your house for the Alaskan season change is to look over the exterior of your home and property very carefully. Inspect your windows and doors, siding and your roofing, driveway and walkways. Make sure that your windows operate easily, normally and latches fully closed. Check to see that the window is fully caulked and sealed at the edges, ensure the weather-strip on all exterior doors is in good condition and replace as needed. Small cracks that allow the cold weather to seep in can quickly add up to be equal to having a 6-inch open hole in the side of the house when the temps fall. Inspect the sides of your home for any loose siding or trim, inspect the roof from the ground to ensure that no loose or missing shingle conditions exist. If needed hire a professional to inspect the roof and complete any siding or roof repairs as required before the ice and snow hit. Seal cracks in walkways and driveways to help prevent water getting into these areas and freezing, as the water freezes it expands acting like a hydraulic ram causing further damage. Repair any damage and fix any loose material problems before the weather prevents you from noticing these safety issues or resolving them quickly.
While you are outside, ensure that the exterior water spigots fully shut off, disconnect the hose and install insulated covers to protect the spigot supply water line from freezing and causing a broken pipe and water in places it should not be and doing untold and un-noticed damage that could easily been prevented. Take a look at the surrounding trees, taking note of any dead or trees that are leaning towards the house. Winter weather in Alaska means potential for damaging high winds, taking problem trees down before winter may save some frustrations when it is dark, cold and windy.
Inside the home it is absolutely critical to have your heating system inspected, cleaned as needed and ensure that it is properly functioning and venting to the exterior. A cracked heat exchanger or snow blocked venting can result in dangerous levels of carbon monoxide collecting in the house. Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a real possibility in cold country and deaths have resulted in recent winters due to improperly maintained furnaces and boilers. Stay safe and have a professional inspect your heating system every fall and remember to change filters in forced air heated homes.
If you need assistance with anything discussed or a personal walk through around your home, think about contacting a local Anchorage construction / remodeling professional such as 360 Construction and Design to help get you ready for the winter with peace of mind, eliminating potential problems and maybe even saving some money on the heat bills.
One more thought, if you are considering updating or remodeling a Kitchen, Bath or other area of the interior of your home, the shortened days of Fall and Winter may be ideal leaving our wonderful Spring and Summer for time to play. In addition to making sure your home is ready for Winter, we can help verify that everything is up to code, safe, and that we have proper heat throughout the home. During a remodel we can install energy saving LED lighting to help brighten the short days and enlarge windows to take advantage of the longer days. There are many different construction materials available that work well in our extreme environment so that you can now achieve some pretty cool looks with materials that will stand up to our extreme weather. 360 Construction and Design can design, build and remodel your home to stand up to the worst weather that Alaska can offer while you enjoy, the warmth and comfort of a new kitchen or bathroom all year round…