The weather is just starting to change. Now is the perfect time to evaluate your property and make the necessary repairs, upgrades and adjustments for the upcoming fall and winter seasons. There are several things you can do to help maintain your home and prevent expensive problems in the future. I have compiled a brief list steps to tackle yourself or by hiring a professional. E-mail me for a list of my recommended professionals: firstname.lastname@example.org.
1) Clean your gutters – This should be done twice a year. In the fall, it’s important to remove any debris that may have accumulated from nearby trees so that rain water doesn’t build-up and ice over, forming potentially serious ice dams.
2) Check your roof for damage or leaks – Have a professional inspect your roof, looking for damaged shingles, flashing or vents. It’s much more expensive and invasive to deal with a leaking roof than it is to prevent one.
3) Seal gaps and cracks – Take a look at your weather stripping (around doors and windows). Is it worn, cracking or missing? Either hire a handyman or head to a home improvement store for new stripping. This will help your utility bills, as well. Check around your home for cracks and expanded joints in your concrete work. This is the time to get things caulked. By doing this you will help prevent further cracking/expansion from water penetration.
4) Protect outdoor faucets – It’s a good idea to protect your outdoor faucets from freezing. You can purchase faucet covers at any home improvement store and they are easy to install.
5) Winterize your sprinklers – This is a very important step that will prevent your system from freezing and causing unnecessary flooding in your yard and basement. Hire your lawn company or a sprinkler company to turn off your system and blow out the hoses.
6) Replace your furnace filter – Technically, you should replace your furnace filter quarterly. This wil help the efficiency of the machine and keep the air cleaner.
7) Prep your fireplaces – It’s always a good idea to have your flue cleaned, even if you have a gas fireplace. But, it’s especially important if you plan to burn wood. Over the summer, debris from nesting animals can clog your chimney and cause smoke to back draft into your living space. Also, a flue with too much soot is a fire hazard.
8) Test your smoke/CO detectors – Usually your detectors will let you know when they need a new battery. But, it’s always a good idea to run a test to make sure they are functioning correctly. Remember, the law in Colorado is that you have a Carbon Monoxide detector within 15 feet of any bedroom. Plug-in units are easy to install and available at your home improvement store.
9) Exterminate – Certain insects don’t like the winter elements any more than you do. So, naturally, they seek a nice, warm place to live out the season – your home. Spiders are particularly busy this time of year. Hire an exterminator to spray the inside and outside of your home and you won’t likely have a problem.
10) Service your HVAC System and H20 Heater – This should happen annually or at least bi-annually. By having these units cleaned and serviced, you increase their useful life, their efficiency and can repair any issues before they get too large or dangerous. Hire a licensed HVAC contractor to clean and certify your Furnace, A/C and water heater.
These ideas and tips will get help get your home ready for the winter. If you don’t already have a preferred contractor, please contact me for names and numbers of my personally vetted vendors. And, as always, feel free to contact me with any of your real estate questions or needs.
All My Best to You and Yours and Stay Warm this Winter!