As winter arrives, as a homeowner, you’re going to want to make sure that your home is prepared to withstand the cold temperatures, increased precipitation, and high winds. It is important to take the time in the fall to make sure your home is ready for winter. Here are our top five winter home maintenance tips to focus on:
Check your Fireplace
If you have a wood burning fireplace, it is important to give your chimney a once over before you use it for the season. Dirty chimneys can emit creosote, a dangerous residue that can cause fires. Creosote is black or brown in appearance and can be crusty and flaky. The residue is highly combustible and can cause chimney fires that will damage structures, destroy homes, and even injure or kill people.
For the safety of your family and home, it is important to hire a chimney sweeper to inspect and clean it before each season.
Clean out your gutters
Clogged rain gutters can cause serious damage to your homes, leading to expensive repairs. After the leaves have fallen, clean your gutters to remove any debris that has found their way into your gutters. If gutters become clogged, ice dams can form in the winter, and all of that added weight can cause sagging gutters, and water damage.
After you clean your gutters, consider installing a gutter guard system. Look for a micromesh filter, like LeafFilter, so there will be no holes, gaps, or openings to allow any debris into your gutters. Gutter guards are helpful because they eliminate gutter cleaning and any potential problems that are associated with clogged gutters.
Check your Roof
Before the first snowfall, you are going to want to make sure that your roof is in the best working order. When using a ladder, remember to use the “rule of threes” and have contact with both feet and at least one hand. If you are weary of ladders, use binoculars to inspect your roof from the ground.
Scope out buckled, cracked, or missing shingles, rust spots, and flashing. If you see any problems, be sure to contact a roofer to repair and replace any areas of concern. This will keep your home safe from any type of water issues that could occur otherwise.
Take a close look at the exterior of your home and inspect for any gaps or openings. Then, use caulk and weather stripping to seal any places of concern. Think about places that cold air might enter the home: door frames, windows, and cable openings. You may think that your home is exempt from this step just because it is new, however, newer homers need caulking too. Taking the time to complete this task will help lower your energy bill during the cold winter months.
Check the Batteries
The change in seasons is always a good reminder to test all smoke and carbon detectors to keep your home and family safe. Even if you think your batteries are still good, it is a good idea to just change them anyways – there is nothing worse than waking up to an annoying detector!
It’s also good to remember that a detector only lasts about 7 years, so consider replacing yours if you think they are past their expiration date.
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