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When the leaves begin to turn, it’s time to hunker down your home for winter.
Failing to properly prepare your house for the cold winter months puts it at risk for a variety of serious consequences, ranging from interior leaks to fires and more. By preparing your residence now, you can reduce your odds of having serious problems when snow and frigid temperatures strike.
Complete these ten important fall home maintenance tasks to keep your family safe and sound this winter.
Conduct a roof inspection. Ensuring that your roof is in good condition is one of the most important steps in winterizing your home. Make sure that all shingles are intact and securely attached. During the cold winter months, it’s not uncommon to experience high winds, which can ultimately cause loose shingles to blow away. Be on the lookout for holes or cracks in the flashing around your roof vents, which can lead to damaging interior water penetration. Many people don’t feel comfortable conducting roof inspections so they opt to hire a professional instead. The cost of the inspection is small compared to the expense that roof issues can cause if they’re not addressed.
Thoroughly clean the gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters are one of the most common culprits of residential water damage. Winter preparation should include clearing your gutter system of any leaves and debris from trees, such as small sticks and twigs. Homeowners often hire gutter cleaning companies for this chore. If you opt to do the cleaning yourself, remove all leaves and debris from your gutters and then use a garden hose to flush out any remaining particles and ensure that the water is draining properly.
Drain outdoor water outlets. Avoid winter water mishaps by turning off outside spigots and in-ground irrigation systems, which prevents them from freezing and bursting when the temperature plummets. You should also close any shut-off valves and allow outside faucet lines to drain completely. Purchase inexpensive foam spigot covers for added protection. Store garden hoses and sprinklers to prevent them from being damaged by the harsh winter weather.
Inspect outdoor access points. When the landscape is covered in ice and snow, just walking from the driveway to the front door can be hazardous. Make navigating around your property safer by checking that any walkways are in good repair, the railings are sturdy, and that the driveway is in sound condition to allow for easier shoveling.
Get your chimney cleaned. Hire a licensed chimney sweep to clean and inspect your chimney for any issues that need attention before use. This will avert chimney fires and will prevent deadly carbon monoxide from creeping into your home undetected.
Winterize your air conditioners. If you have central air conditioning, make sure that all debris is cleared away from the unit. Then, cover it with a piece of wood that’s large enough to protect the entire top surface. This reduces the chance that leaves or other debris can fall inside the unit and damage it.
Clean dryer vents. Lint buildup in the dryer vents impedes its efficiency and can even cause a fire. Cool, dry fall weather increases static electricity, which can ignite lint that has accumulated. You can clean the vent yourself, or if access is challenging, hire a duct cleaning specialist.
Get a heating system tune-up. Conduct a survey of your home’s heating vents to make sure they aren’t blocked by furniture, carpeting, or curtains. Hire an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace to test for leaks, assess heating efficiency, and change the filter. He or she should also perform a carbon monoxide check to ensure air safety.
Clean and check smoke alarms and detectors. A sensor with dust build-up may not operate as it should, so make sure the covers of your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are clean. Simply wipe them down with a damp rag. Use the “test” feature on the alarms to ensure that they’re functioning properly. You should also replace the batteries in all detectors prior to the winter season each year.
Save money by checking for drafts. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat loss around windows and doors can be responsible for as much 30 percent of a home’s energy waste. Fortunately, this issue is easily corrected. Feel for drafts around the edges of your windows and doors. Then, replace the weatherstripping and/or repair caulking around the frames, as necessary.
Fall preventative upkeep can shield you from costly problems and danger.
To reduce expensive service calls, preserve your home’s value, and keep your loved ones safe and comfortable, follow this autumn home maintenance checklist each year.
Tackle these important tasks to gain peace of mind when winter strikes. Looking for more guidance? The professionals at Certified Title are here to help. Please reach out to us anytime.
About Certified Title Corporation: Since 1994, attorney-owned Certified Title Corporation has been furnishing residential and commercial real estate stakeholders across the nation with robust title insurance, settlement, and escrow services. Renowned for industry-leading reliability and an exemplary level of service and quality, the Maryland-based company helps clients from all walks of life achieve their asset goals. To learn more, call (888)486-5511 or visit https://www.certifiedtitlecorp.com/.