With winter being around the corner, it’s time to take a look at your to-do list. Preparing your home for the winter may not be listed on the top at the moment, however, it is important to start doing home maintenance tasks. Look, we get it, most of us would rather spend our free time enjoying the various fall activities such as hiking, apple picking, or sipping pumpkin-spiced lattes. But, here’s the reality: you can’t procrastinate if you want your home to be prepared for the winter elements.
Cold weather, ice, and snow can do a lot of damage to your home. If you take the time to prepare your home before the winter chill takes hold, it will allow you to properly winterize your home and make it a lot more enjoyable when the temperature drops.
Roof and Gutter Inspection
Having a leaky roof is the last thing you want to deal with this winter. Before a huge snowstorm, inspect your roof for any damage such as missing or broken shingles, cracked caulk, or rust spots on flashing. If you’re not comfortable inspecting your roof on your own, hire a roofing company that can take a look and report back on what they see regarding roof damage. If you’re not comfortable inspecting your roof, hire a roofing company that can take a look and gives you any details they see regarding roof damage. In addition to a roof inspection, make sure to take a look at your gutters. Clogged rain gutters or downspouts can damage your home’s foundation and cause ice dams. To avoid expensive repairs, remove any leaves, twigs, or build-up to allow water flow. Also, ensure your gutters aren’t sagging and trapping water, tighten any loose screws, and replace any worn or damaged materials.
Tree Branch Trimming
Before a winter storm hits your area, make sure you trim any tree branches or limbs over your roof. This can cause excess water to seep into cracks in your home’s roof or siding creating more expensive damage to the structure of your home. Including tree trimming on your home maintenance to-do list will prevent any further damage from occurring to both your roof and house.
Fire Place Inspection
A visual inspection of both inside and outside of your home can ensure that your fireplace is in good working condition for the burning season. During an outdoor inspection, there are many things to look out for. From bird nests or debris buildup to crumbling or missing pieces on the chimney, it’s imperative to make sure that your fireplace, whether wood-burning or gas is safe to use during the burning seasons. When inspecting your gas fireplace, make sure to look for any structural issues including cracks or latch issues, or even the positioning of gas logs You’ll also want to test the gas valve and igniter to make sure they’re working. You can do this by attempting to ignite a fire, which can also help point out any clogged burner holes that need to be cleared. Additionally, when conducting an indoor inspection you want to confirm that:
- The flue damper opens, closes, and seals properly
- There are no combustible materials, such as animal nests, or other foreign objects in the flue
- The fireplace surround, hearth, and firebox have no cracked bricks or missing mortar
If any damage is spotted, reach out to a professional to install a new fireplace or inspect the old one. These can cost on average between $80- $500, depending on what level of inspection you’re ordering.
Poorly insulated windows can drive up the cost of your energy bill. To prevent this from happening, you can hire a professional to insulate your windows. By reducing drafts from your windows, you can lower your home’s energy costs by up to 20% per year according to the U.S Energy Department, while also making your living space cozy.
Ensuring that all of your home maintenance tasks are prepared for winter will help you breathe easy throughout the winter months. For your next inspection, contact Badger Contracting by calling 410-774-5122 or email us to make sure your home is ready for winter.