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Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Prepare Your Home For Winter
Prepare Your Home for Old Man Winter
Everyone puts off those last minute maintenance chores until
the weather turns cold.We are bringing
you a list of items that will make the transition into winter mode that much
Furnace Inspection; Having
your furnace inspected and is operating at peak efficiency is a wise
investment.Typical cost for a
technician to inspect and clean your furnace is around $80 to $100.00.This is a small price to pay to avoid a
costly repair on the coldest day of the year when your furnace won’t
start.Change your furnace filter every
30 days or so, if you have animals who shed hair a more frequent replacement
might be required.
Check or have your chimney checked for any cracks, missing
brick or mortar or loose rain cap.The
freezing thawing action of water penetrating small cracks can do a lot of
damage over the winter season.If you
have a wood burning fireplace you should consider having it cleaned prior to
use and have the flue tiles inspected for any cracks or deficiencies.
If you have ceiling fans now is a good time to clean the
dust and lint off the blades and reverse direction of motor.Forcing the warm air down will make your
living area feel much more cozy.
Windows & Doors
Caulking Windows; Clean
your windows and doors inside and out.This is a great time to check your seals and exterior caulking.Ensuring your seams on brick and concrete
window sills are not open can save you a lot of money on needless repairs later
on. Water can enter your exposed seams
cracking mortar and eventually damaging the brick below.This “spalling” as it is known, happens when
clay style brick absorbs moisture, which then freezes and blows off part of the
Check all your door closures to ensure they all operate
smoothly.Screen doors should have glass
panels lowered or installed on older models.Basement windows screens in window wells are susceptible to damage from
rodents and other small animals.Screens
should be removed and stored for the winter.Replace any damaged door seals or sweeps to prevent drafts from entering
home during the cold months.Operate
your garage doors and lightly grease track for smoother and quieter operation.
Roofs & Gutters
Flashing Not Sealed on Roof; Inspect your roofs shingles for
any damaged or missing tabs.Pay close
attention to any flashings on walls or chimneys to ensure that they are
completely sealed.Caulk any suspect
areas to be doubly sure of preventing any roof leaks.Clean out any debris in gutters and ensure
your downspouts and extensions are in good condition.If you have an older home using heating
cables for eaves or downspouts, now is a good time to ensure that they are in
good working order.Put away your rain
barrels and ensure your splash pads and extensions are directing water away
from your home.
Draining Exterior; Tap Drain all your exterior water lines
to prevent freezing.I personally always
leave the exterior tap open and have never had a freeze up problem.If you have hose reels installed, now is a
good time to store them after draining out the water.On older homes with crawlspaces now is a good
time to close ventilation vents and cover with insulation in preparation for
winter.Any in ground sprinkler lines
should have already been blown out by your sprinkler maintenance company, if
not call them immediately.
Wrapping your hot water tank and hot water lines with insulation
can save you money all year long.Check
your sump pump by either lifting float or pouring water into unit to ensure it
is in operating condition.
Drafts & Air Leaks
Energy experts estimate about 30% of the heat in your home
is lost to leaks and drafts.Adding foam
seals to exterior wall outlets can stop and lot of heat loss.Check any penetrations on the exterior wall
of your house and seal any gaps with caulking, this stops both cold air and
moisture from entering your home.Check
you interior for leaks and missing insulation at penetrations.Most contractors will not replace your vapor
barrier or insulation when they install electrical or heating vents.Replacing insulation and re-sealing vapor
barrier can save a lot of heat loss over the course of a winter.