Winter Is Coming! Is Your Home Ready?

It seems like just yesterday we were basking in the glow of a warm Fall, but make no mistake, these last few days have brought a definite chill to the air. If you haven’t already, here’s a small checklist of things you can do around the home as a quick check-up before the snow starts falling.

1. Seal It Up
Caulk and seal around exterior door and window frames. Look for gaps where pipes or wiring enter the home and caulk those as well. Not only does heat escape from these openings, but water, insects, or maybe mice can enter and may eventually cause other problems.

2. Give It A Check Up
View the roof for missing or damaged shingles. Winter weather can cause serious damage to a vulnerable roof, leading to a greater chance of further damage inside the home. Although you should always have a qualified professional inspect and repair the roof, you can do a preliminary survey from the ground using binoculars.

3. Clear It Out
Clear gutters and valleys of leaves, sticks, and other debris through the autumn months to keep the water moving. Consider installing leaf guards if your gutters can accommodate them – they are real time savers and can prevent damage from clogged gutters. Check the joints between sections of gutter and at the corners, as well as between the gutter and downspouts. Make any necessary adjustments or repairs.

4. Hoses & Spigots
Make a note in Outlook for the end of next month to drain the garden hoses and store them indoors to protect them from the elements. Shut off outdoor faucets and make sure exterior pipes are drained of water. Faucets and pipes can easily freeze and burst, causing leaks and potentially serious water damage.

5. Warm-Ups
Beat the rush and have the heating system serviced to ensure it’s in safe and good working order. Replace disposable furnace air filters or clean the permanent type according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Using a clean filter will help the furnace run more efficiently, saving you money and energy.

6. Light That Fire
If you enjoy the crackle of a wood-burning fireplace on a chilly fall evening, have the firebox and chimney professionally cleaned before using it this season. Wood stoves too! Creosote, a byproduct of wood burning, can build up to dangerous levels and cause a serious chimney fire if not removed.

Original article courtesy of Pillar To Post Home Inspection 2017