Keep Your Home Warm This Winter!
Published: October 2018
Author: Bank of England Mortgage Staff
October is here! Depending on where you live this time of the year means planning for seasons, holidays and varying weather patterns. Be prepared for a blast of cold air and its potential impact with frozen pipes!
Read below for some practical tips for home winterizing so you can be better prepared for Mother Nature’s elements:
Dead tree limbs
If you have trees above or near your property, clear out the dead limbs now. Fallings limbs and trees can cause significant damage to your roof, gutters, decks, etc. And while the trees are still in season, it’s easier to detect those bad limbs now versus when all the leaves have fallen!
If you have exposed pipes get them insulated. Properties with large crawl spaces, stilts, or built on hillsides (with exposed pipes) should be inspected and properly insulated where necessary. Also, learn where your water control shutoff valve is located. Be prepared in case an emergency occurs when you least expect it!
If you use your fireplace (gas, stove, or wood burning) have your chimney professionally inspected, cleaned, and swept. These professionals will also check for internal cracks that could pose fire threats.
Fall maintenance should include driveway pressure washing, sealing, and caulking large cracks that could lead to additional problems. Pay particular attention to concrete and aggregate driveways that are on hills. Water should be funneled off the driveway and not susceptible to draining into cracks that can lead to larger issues.
Routine filter replacement goes without saying, but I’d suggest taking it one step further and secure a certified HVAC specialist to inspect and test your furnace system. Cold nights can creep up on you and you’ll want to make sure that HVAC system is primed and ready to heat.
Window and Door cracks
For minimal expense you can purchase new seals and draft prevention tools at your local hardware store. Doors and windows are usually the main culprits for lost heat. Also, be sure to purchase some all-purpose window and door caulking – this will come in handy when you least expect it.
make sure your gutters have properly installed downspouts. And more importantly, make sure they are draining away from the house and foundation. Downspout extensions are inexpensive and prevent future maintenance issues. However, they can be installed incorrectly. Some folks often apply splash blocks backwards. If you are unsure of proper installation and drainage techniques, go to youtube.com and type “downspouts” in the search engine.
many homes have bonus rooms or bedrooms above the garage. Most builder grade garage doors are not insulated. Your local hardware store will carry multiple types of garage door insulation kits with easy DIY instructions. Speaking of garage doors, I am amazed in the price variances! If you contract with a garage door company, get two quotes. As I suggested with HVAC companies, attempt to work with a local, reputable independent. There are great pre-insulated garage doors with great curb appeal that don’t break the bank.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list for winterizing your home. The severity of your climate and weather elements may dictate preventive measures. Consider this brief list nothing more than a practical guide intended to head off future, major repairs!