The winter season is upon us, so now is a great time to address winter maintenance before the weather makes even the simplest of repairs significantly more difficult. Winterizing your home in advance of the changing seasons ensures that you aren’t having to make any repairs during the winter months or having to suffer without necessary conveniences.
Furnace Inspection and Routine Maintenance
Several routine maintenance tasks can be performed on your furnace by you, the homeowner. Such tasks include changing the air filter and making sure any flammable objects have been removed from around the furnace unit itself. You can also go around the house, ensuring that all of the vents are unobstructed from furniture, clutter, etc. Air needs to be able to circulate efficiently throughout your home. For the next steps in warranting your furnace is safe and in its best operating condition, you must call on a professional. A certified and licensed heating expert will assess the unit’s blower belt and motor, assuring that they do not need any repair before taking on the winter months. All are preventative measures taken to avoid fire and alleviate the opportunity for poisonous gases to enter your home. Hiring a licensed heating professional is pivotal in the assurance that your furnace is safe and sound working order before entering the winter months.
Addressing Your Windows and Doors
Begin by checking all of the weather stripping around your windows and doors for any signs of air leaks or drafts. Replace any stripping that has been pulled loose or is showing signs of wear. Even the smallest of crevices creates a passage for cold air to enter or warm air to escape. Finally, inspect the actual glass of the windows and doors for cracks or breaks. If necessary, replace the glass. Winter’s cold air drafts entering your home leads to money exiting your wallet.
Fireplace and Chimney Preparation
A cheap chimney sweep fireplace cleaning professional can be found in cities nationwide. The chimney professional will clean out your fireplace and chimney of any creosote and soot build-up. Creosote can catch fire from the sparks flying upward while burning. The mortar in the bricks surrounding the chimney will also be closely inspected for cracks or holes. If found, these cracks and holes must be repaired by a professional bricklayer, as they too can be a source of fire.
Inspect your roof for loose or missing shingles. Replace or repair as needed to prevent water leaks when the freezing rain or snow begins to melt. Clear gutters and downspouts of leaves and debris, and inspect that they are fastened securely to the house. Be sure the downspouts extend at least five feet away from the home to inhibit ponding around the foundation. Lastly, close all vents and openings around the foundation, or crawl, to keep unwanted intruders from finding refuge for the winter.
Congratulations! Your home has now been winterized. Taking preventative action in the fall is your best line of defense against winter. Instead of hastily thumbing through the phonebook on a Sunday afternoon in mid-January, you can sleep warmly in the comfort of knowing your home is safe and protected.
Anytime you need a recommendation for a home professional to assist you with something big or small around your home, give me a call. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, help you to find your dream home and/or determine the value of your existing property.
Nancy Davidson is your ultimate real estate resource for Mammoth Lakes, CA and The Eastern Sierra. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.