Preparing your home for the winter season is a smart step that can save you money and protect your investment in your home. Not sure where to start? A home energy assessment can help you learn where the issues are that are causing cold air and water to get into your home and letting energy savings escape. Here are a few of the most common issues homeowners face when temperatures drop.
Inspect Drafty Doors and Windows
Cracks and crevices in and around doors and windows can let cold air in and warm air escape. Check and replace weather-stripping around doors and caulk windows if you feel a draft. If your window is cracked, replace it. Now is also the time to install storm windows if you have them. Check for drafts in other places: dryer vents, skylights, and around window and wall-unit air conditioners. Even a loose-fitting switch plate can let cold air in. Check your fireplace damper to make sure it opens and closes correctly, and have your fireplace professionally cleaned to remove built-up creosote and soot.
Check the Roof, Gutters, and Downspouts
A leaky roof, overflowing gutters, and debris-filled downspouts can cause water and ice damage in and around your home. Take the time to clean out gutters and flush out downspouts to get rid of excess debris. Installing screened leaf guards on your gutters can also prevent excess water from being trapped near your roof or foundation. Replace worn-out or damaged shingles and check around the foundation, siding and corners for any gaps or holes. Precision Roofing will perform maintenance on your roof at an affordable cost.
Seal up small entryways and crawlspaces to prevent freeloading rodents from making themselves at home. Rake away dead leaves that may have piled up against the foundations to prevent moisture and melting snow from collecting – it discourages pests as well.
Prevent Pipes from Freezing
In the winter, pipes can freeze and burst, leading to water damage and flooding, which can adversely affect the value of your home. To help prevent this, insulate pipes that are exposed to the winter air and drain garden hoses and air conditioning pipes. If you’ll be away for an extended period of time, keep your heat set to 55 degrees to prevent indoor pipes from busting. Always know where your water main is in case you need to shut it off in an emergency.
Turn to a Professional, If You Need One
If you need to, and can afford it, pay a professional to help manage these tasks. Investing in a little preventative maintenance now can help you protect the value of your home this winter, and in the future.