With Halloween right around the corner, we’re slowly descending into winter. Loved by many, this season of the year tends to put a lot of stress on your home. Depending on where you live, a strong winter might imply heavy snowfall, strong winds, and a number of other environmental factors that can leave a mark in the long run.
Because of that, it’s imperative that you prepare your home for the winter, making sure that all its core parts are good to go and ready for the season. We’ve put together a list of four important repairs you should consider before winter comes. Without further ado, let’s jump right in!
1. The Annual Roof Inspection
The roof is arguably one of the most important parts of any home. It’s the shield that protects you from the weather, whatever that weather brings. Doing an annual roof inspection is a good way to stay on top of small issues that might arise over time. What you’re looking for is physical damage to the shingles. If you’ve had strong winds over the past few months in your area, there’s a chance some of the shingles on your roof might be loose or missing. This is common for older houses that haven’t had any roof work done in a while.
Although absolutely no one wants to do roof work in fall, it’s important that you fix any damage before the winter sets in. Allowing water to penetrate the shingles is a great way to invite all kinds of troubles to your life. We’ll also include gutter inspection in this segment as it’s essentially a part of the roof. Make sure that your gutters are clean and not clogged with leaves. You might need to give them a look once again after the fall is well on its way out, especially if you’ve got trees towering over your roof.
2. Make Sure the HVAC System is Fully Functional
There’s arguably nothing worse than a cold house in the dead of winter. Most of us rely on our HVAC systems to provide heat when it’s cold outside. You can completely avoid having to deal with no heat when it’s below zero outside by giving your HVAC a good inspection.
Run the system through its cycles and check how well it heats up the entire home. It’s getting cold enough where you can do this test and notice if something’s off. In case there is an issue, make sure to schedule an HVAC tech to come over and fix whatever’s wrong as soon as you can. They might be swamped with calls and interventions in a month or two.
3. Check the Interior for Moisture
As the first rains start falling, it’s a good idea to check the interior for moisture and leaks. Water damage can be expensive, requiring you to take out a loan to renovate your home if left unattended for long. Paired with the roof inspection, the interior inspection should let you know just how airtight everything is. In case you do find leaks, make sure to get them sorted out before temperatures fall below zero. More expensive leaks can damage your electrical system and cause structural damage to the walls.
4. Clean Your Chimneys and Fireplace
If you’ve got a nice fireplace at your house, make sure to inspect it before use. This includes cleaning the fireplace and taking a good look up the chimney. Depending on how your stack is built, there’s a chance you’ve been sharing your home with a few birds.
Bird nests are a common thing in chimneys that aren’t used that often. Additionally, you should check the chimneys for obstacles other than birds. Sometimes there will be a loose brick in the stack, that falls into the chimney causing a blockage. If you were to light a fire with a clogged stack, you’d quickly find yourself surrounded by smoke.
Prevention is Key
Performing these simple inspections before the winter sets in is a great way to recognize issues before they become a problem. What we’ve listed above are the key checks you need to perform every year. However, there are many other smaller maintenance jobs that you should take care of before it gets too cold.
Things such as shutting off water to any exterior tap, making sure that your drainage is clean if you’re on a hill, are only a small part of the overall list of tasks. If you do everything right, you should have a worry-free winter and plenty of time to enjoy the holiday season without dealing with unforeseen problems.
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