10 Projects That You Should Avoid During the Winter Months
While winter is a great time to tackle some of those house projects you've been putting off, there are some updates that should wait until the warmer weather. Here are 10 projects you should avoid during the winter months.
Exterior House Painting
Even if there’s no snow or ice in the forecast, hold off on any exterior house painting until spring. Paint—especially exterior paints—don’t perform well when temperatures dip below 40 degrees F, nor does it adhere well to wet or damp surfaces. Instead, put a new coat of paint on those living room walls or paint those dining room chairs indoors.
Photo: J. Bicking/Shutterstock
Windows can be replaced any time of the year, but the brutal cold can make the project difficult. Caulk can freeze before curing and temperature swings and varying levels of moisture can cause the wood surrounding the window to swell or contract, affecting the fit.
Just because the temperatures may be in the 40s for a few days, that doesn’t mean it’s safe to start new construction on your dream deck. Not only can the wood swell or contract during the winter months, the ground is likely still too frozen to dig holes for support posts.
If you didn’t get to those cracks in the driveway before winter, you’ll have to wait until spring. Concrete doesn’t set up as quickly (or even freezes before it does) in the cold as it does during the warmer months, which could lead to more trouble down the road.
Photo: Niwat Sripoomsawatt/Shutterstock
Siding can contract in cold weather so it’s best to wait until temperatures rise a bit before replacing your home’s siding. Vinyl siding is also vulnerable to cracking during the winter months.
Photo: Bonita R. Cheshier/Shutterstock
PVC Trim Jobs
If working with PVC trim is on your to-do list, wait until the spring. PVC trim contracts in the cold which could lead to unwanted gaps.
Any outdoor caulking job—whether it’s to fill gaps in windows and doors or in the home’s foundation—should be completed before winter. Most instructions on caulk tubes say the temperature should be at least 40 degrees F so the caulk will cure correctly.
Garden and Lawn Work
It can be tempting to take advantage of a warm winter day to do some garden or lawn prep work, but hold off a couple more months. The ground will likely still be frozen so you won’t get too much crossed off your to-do list. Instead, get seedlings started so you’ll have a leg up on the summer growing season.
While you should inspect your gutters during the winter to make sure they’re not full of ice which could lead to an ice dam, gutter replacement should wait until spring. Gutter replacement can be a tough job at any time of the year, but staying off a ladder during the winter months when snow and ice are present is a must for home improvement safety.
Photo: Suzanne Tucker/Shutterstock