Before the cold weather settles in, inspect your home to ensure it's ready for rough weather. When it comes to keeping your heating bills lower, preventing damage, and eliminating unnecessary expenses, the wintertime can be much more relaxing for you staying at home. However, before you’re able to sit down and enjoy looking out the window at the beautiful snowfall, it’s worth reviewing a few parts of your home. Check out the following areas in particular for signs of problems or wear. Making minor repairs now could save you big bucks later.
Roof and Gutters
Rain, sleet, and snow can cause serious damage to your home's roof and gutters. See if there are missing or damaged shingles that need to be replaced. A small leak can quickly grow to let moisture into the attic and other areas of the house. Hire experts to patch any holes in your roof and tighten or repair the gutters if needed. Downspouts should also be examined to ensure they are securely in place and will continue to drain rainwater and melted ice or snow into the appropriate areas at the ground level. Oftentimes, if the gutters are on the brink of breaking or if they aren’t positioned properly, they can create problems instead of preventing them when it comes to melting snow and icicles. Additionally, you’ll want to evaluate your gutters to ensure there isn’t a build-up of leaves, dirt, or critter nests. That way everything can drain properly.
Chimney and Fireplace
The chimney should be checked for missing or damaged bricks as well as signs of nesting by insects or wildlife. The chimney cap should be intact and in place to keep unwanted pests out. Your fireplace might need to be cleaned before building a seasonal fire. Look for creosote buildup in the chimney, or hire a professional to inspect and clean the chimney interior. Remove ashes from previous fires to have a clean hearth for your next wintertime blaze. This way, everything for your fireplace will be ready for when you need it without risking going on top of an icy patched roof for repairs later in the season. Additionally, it can make your experience with your fireplace more relaxing and enjoyable, as it should be.
Foundation and Basement
Take a walk around your home's outdoor perimeter to look for signs of crumbling or chipping in the foundation. Even small gaps can let in moisture or rodents. Examine the basement walls, especially around the windows, to see if water has seeped in anywhere. Look for mold discoloration or damp spots in the wall or floors, and treat it promptly to prevent continued growth. In addition to letting water in and ruining your home, it is also an opportunity for water to get trapped, freeze, expand and make the cracks in your foundation even worse than it was before.
Landscape and Lawn
Outdoors, clean up the landscaped areas and the lawn to remove fallen leaves and twigs. Note any dry or bare spots in the lawn for springtime grass seed planting. Trim dead wood from trees and shrubs. If you don't have the time or tools to do the job, hire local pros to handle the work for you. You'll be glad you did when Spring rolls around with less yard work to do.
Check the Vents
A simple way to decrease the efficiency of your warming system is by leaving your vents closed. Sometimes, homeowners will close a vent when they are trying to change the environment of one room to be different than another. Just to make sure that all of your vents are open, consider going through your home room by room to open all vents that you may have forgotten about.
Get your home ready for cold temperatures and chilly precipitation along with high winds that may assault your home this winter. Take care of any repairs or replacements now to avoid cold weather work that could the outdoor jobs harder to manage.
About the Author
Anica is a professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco. She loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. You can connect with Anica on Twitter @AnicaOaks. She recommends this company when it comes to New England's best home services.