How To Get Your Home Ready For Winter
We may have just settled into fall, but winter weather is not too far off. It is important to plan ahead and start getting your home ready for winter. Take the time to protect your investment. Here are a few items that you can do to get ready for the winter and help keep your home happy:
Tune Up Your Heating System
Most heating and air systems typically last 12 to 15 years. Before the weather turns cold, change your filters at a minimum. We recommend having the system inspected by a trusted HVAC contractor. If you plan to do this regularly, it is cost effective to look into an annual maintenance agreement. It’s much better to find an HVAC problem while the temperature is milk than it is to find your furnace doesn’t work on a cold winter day.
For roughly $80 to $100, a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to be sure the system is clean and in good repair, and that it can achieve its manufacturer-rated efficiency. The inspection also measures carbon-monoxide leakage.
Trim The Trees & Clear Gutters
We recommend you check your property for branches growing over the house, garage, or power lines. During a storm, those could come down and cause major damage. Branches rubbing together can or dead tree branches can also put your home at risk and it is preferred those are removed as well.
If your gutters are clogged with leaves, the debris can freeze in water, which could get under shingles and damage the roof. Get a tall ladder and work gloves, and scoop out the debris so water can drain. It can also lead to deterioration of your foundation, water infiltration in the basement and to settling under your concrete porches and walks. Check out our blog on how to clean your gutters.
Check Your Roof
You certainly don’t want to find out you have a leaky roof after the first snow hits. A roof inspection can help you spot any potential issues.Work your way around your house, looking for these defects:
Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
Missing or broken shingles
Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
Masses of moss, which could signal the roof is decaying.
Some roofing fixes are easy to do yourself, such as repairing shingles or calking flashing, if you’re comfortable working on a roof. If you’re not, you’ll want to consult a qualified roofing professional. We offer free roof inspections and estimates to our customers.
Caulk & Seal Exterior Wood
Even though a deck is made of treated or rot-resistant wood, it still needs protection. You don’t need to stain and seal your deck every year but check it to make sure it’s protected. To do this, simply pour some water on it. If the water beads up, then you’re good. If the wood absorbs the water, it’s time to clean and seal your deck.
If the gaps between siding and window or door frames are bigger than the width of a nickel, you need to reapply exterior caulk. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use because it won’t shrink and can withstand the elements. Add weatherstripping as needed around doors, making sure you cannot see any daylight from inside your home.
Drain Your Sprinklers
If you have an outdoor sprinkler system, it’s smart to remove any residual water before the first freeze so it doesn’t expand and crack the pipes. Most sprinkler systems require the lines to be blown out. Generally the process involves shutting off the water source, then opening the drain valves located at the lowest part of the irrigation system to allow water to drain.