As summer draws to a close, it’s time for you to start breaking out the lights jackets for fall, knowing that colder weather is just on the horizon. And while preparing for the cold is pretty straightforward for you, it is more complicated when it comes to your home. Here are 5 things you need to do to make sure your home is as prepared for winter as you are.
1. Have Your Heating System Checked: While it’s still relatively warm, have a contractor come in and check your heating system to ensure everything is functioning. This way, you will avoid the 100+ long waiting line that builds up every winter when people’s heating systems malfunction. Look for someone that has a certification from the ACCA (Air Conditioning Contractors of America) to ensure you are getting the right service.
2. Prevent Ice Dams: Ice Dams are a huge problem for many during the winter. Ice dams, which are a ridge of ice that forms at the edge of a roof and prevents melting snow (water) from draining off the roof, can cause meltwater to backup into your house, and infiltrate your attic, your walls, and even into the interior of your home. To prevent this, have a contractor come over and check to see if there are any air leaks and inadequate insulation in your home’s attic. If you find any, have them fixed before snow season starts. Fixing the problem before it becomes one is your best bet to save on potential large scale damage later.
3. Check Your Roof: While you are checking for potential ice dam hazards, also keep an eye out for any loose, broken, or missing shingles. This will make sure that no leaks will take place, or that no portion of the interior of your roof will be exposed to the harsh weather. Pay special attention to the flashing around vent stacks and chimneys however, most leaks and and seams tend to come from there.
4. Clean Your Gutters: Gutters that are clogged with debris can back up water and cause ice dams, leaks, and may even collapse under the weight of the debris. Therefore, it’s vital that you give your gutters a good clean, especially with autumn on the horizon, where falling leaves are to be expected. Keep an eye out for missing or damaged gutters and fascia boards as well, and have them repaired if you find them.
5. Turn Off Exterior Faucets:Freezing water lines is a common issue during winter, which can lead to bursting pipes as the ice expands. To avoid this, disconnect the hoses and drain all remaining water in the faucets. If you live in an older home and don’t have frost-proof faucets, turn off the shut-off valve inside your home.
6. Inspect Your Siding:Loose siding can let in water and moisture that can leak into the interior of your walls, or freeze and expand, making the opening wider. Prevent this by having your siding inspected for structural integrity, cracks and warping, as well as rot and degradation.
Overall, it’s important to remember that a little foresight can go a long way. All of these tips will help make sure that you don’t run into any inconvenient and costly issues with your home. If you need help with any of the siding or roofing problems, contact us for an inspection. We’ll send you a professional that knows what to look for, and provide recommendations to fix any problems that you may have.