Winter is coming!! Luckily weather experts say that our winter here in Chicago is looking like a mild one, but seasonal home maintenance remains important never-the-less.
In order to set you on the path towards a prepared homefront, we put together this checklist containing all of the areas that need pre-winter inspection. With the proper attention paid to the following 6 areas of your home, you will save a great deal of money and time from the repairs that you will avoid in the long run.
Old windows, or windows with an improper fit can leave you with a cold draft, chilly family, and superfluous heating bill. Re-caulk any cracks or open spaces near windows, and seal small holes on walls near doorways. Not only does this process keep air from seeping in, it also keeps the moisture out as well. An additional step that can be taken is the use of self-adhesive weather stripping, which will further prevent the winds of winter from entering your home.
No one can forget this old maintenance classic… Once your trees have parted way with their lovely fall leaves, make sure to clear and rinse your gutters. With less debris clogging up your gutters, ice will not build up as easily. If debris is left to collect and harden, you may very well be left with barely functioning gutters. In order to ensure maximum cleanliness, send water through the downspouts (which should be facing away from your home), and possibly incorporate a chimney brush into your cleaning processes.
Before it gets too cold, and snow fall has a chance to collect on your roof, inspect your rooftop for loose shingles or any signs of decay. This may entail calling in an expert, but if any damage is spotted, be sure to fix immediately in order to prevent further damage, and keep the interior of your home warm and dry.
Inspect all of your faucets to confirm that they are not leaking or dripping. If a faucet happens to be leaking, make sure to replace the washer or faucet before winter arrives. When the temperature eventually drops, a leaky faucet can make way to a broken pipe. If any pipes that lead to the exterior of your home are left partially filled with water, the water will expand, leading to a costly. time sensitive repair.
It is always important to have your chimney inspected before winter, especially if you plan on using it. Clearing out the chimney, and all of the vents will greatly reduce the chance of carbon monoxide making its way into your home, as well as prevent a potential chimney fire.
One of the last things anyone wants during the winter is their heat to go out. In order to avoid this costly and unpleasant ordeal, hire a licensed HVAC company to give your furnace an annual winter tune-up. Not only will this keep your furnace running smoothly, it will lower the costs of your heating bills as well. Additionally, always remember to change the furnace filter between 2-3 times every winter.