Taking the time to do a little DIY home maintenance every fall can pay off in the long run. By preparing your home for winter now instead of waiting until after the first or second hard freeze, you can avoid costly damage and keep a little extra cash in your pocket. Follow this simple set of steps to prepare your entire home for winter and discover problem areas that need attention from a professional.
Check for Drafts
Start by checking around the doors, windows and other openings in the home. Go from the basement to the attic checking every wall for potential air leaks. You can do this with a stick of incense or candle. Light the incense or candle and hold it up against the borders of the windows and walls. If you see the flame or smoke flickering, you’ve got a leak.
Some utility companies offer free or discounted energy saving testing that involves pressurized measurements to determine how much air your house loses. Once you’ve tracked down leaks to loose windows or gaps around doors, you can add insulation and use foam spray to seal the gaps. Preventing heat loss in the winter can trim down your heating bills substantially.
Tune Up the Furnace
Speaking of heating, don’t forget to give your furnace a basic maintenance visit from a professional service technician. You should have all heating equipment, from heat pumps to wood stoves, inspected and serviced by a professional at least once a year. If your heating equipment is already ready to go, double-check it has a steady supply of fuel in the gas or oil tank. Don’t forget about changing the filters either. Most homeowners only need to change their air filters every one to three months, but families with pets may need to stick to a monthly schedule to prevent wear and tear on the heating equipment due to a clogged filter.
Drip the Pipes
Whenever the air temperatures around your home drop to around freezing, leave at least one faucet in each part of the home dripping. This prevents ice from forming in the pipes, especially if parts of your home are unheated or if the pipes run through an unheated basement or crawlspace. If you can’t drip your faucets, consider electrical heat lines that wrap around the pipes and plug into any open outlet. The warmth prevents frozen pipes and the expensive plumbing bills that come along with them.
Inspect the Roof
Finally, head outside before any snow falls and check out your roof. Note any potential signs of damage like sagging or rising areas, missing shingles, discolored roofing or signs of moisture lingering in certain spots. Having your roof repaired before snow settles in and begins to melt will save you from spending a ton on water damage repair and moisture remediation.
Don’t let winter arrive before you tackle these essential tasks to winterize your home! Take action today or let an expert handle the tasks like roofing cleaning. Call us at Indiana Exterior Cleaning for help.