It’s that time of year again! We’re not talking about pumpkin spice or fuzzy socks, though. We’re talking about preparing your home to withstand the winter weather. Just as there is a list of tips to help you be safe this fall, there is also a list of maintenance tasks to get done before the temps drop. Tackling these fall home maintenance tasks can help ward off potential issues later in the season. Most of these maintenance tips are well within the average homeowner’s ability. But if you’d like to hire a professional Omaha contractor with great reviews, it can be well worth the expense. The professionals at HomeWise will ensure your home is prepared for the cooler months and prevent costly damage to your home.
Clean, or possibly replace, your gutters
You are used to your gutters working properly and draining thousands of gallons of water from your roof every year. If your gutters become clogged, you can end up with a damaged exterior and a flooded interior. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion. Before the leaves fly this fall, clean your gutters, then cover them with mesh gutter guards to keep debris from returning. If your gutters aren’t in good shape, call one of the best exterior contractors in Omaha, HomeWise, to schedule a replacement.
Inspect your roof
Ice, rain, snow, and wind combined with the rapidly changing weather of fall can wreak havoc on your roof. Finding the source may be time-consuming, but it is important to stop problems before they turn into disasters. Start by inspecting your roof from top to bottom, using binoculars if necessary. Check shingles for cracks and wind damage. Look for damage to metal flashing in valleys and around vents and chimneys. Scan the entire roof for missing, curled, or damaged shingles. Look in your gutters for large accumulations of granules, a sign that your roof is losing its coating, which can portend larger problems. Finally, make sure your gutters are flowing freely. Roof-mounted television antennas, even if they aren’t in use, may have guy wires holding them in place. Look for loose or missing guy wires. If you see some, and your antenna is no longer being used, consider having it removed altogether.
Check for drafts and seal air leaks
Heat loss through windows is responsible for 25-30 percent of heating energy use, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Weatherstripping is easily the most cost-effective way to rein in heating and cooling costs. This humble material also reduces drafts and keeps your home more comfortable year-round. Because weather stripping can deteriorate over time, it is important to inspect it periodically. If you suspect a problem with your weatherstripping, try closing a door or window on a strip of paper. If the paper slides easily, your weatherstripping isn’t properly sealing the opening. Alternatively, close the door or window and hold a lighted candle near the frame. If the flame flickers at any spot along the frame, you have an air leak.
In addition to inspecting weatherstripping, check for missing or damaged caulk around windows, doors, and entry points for electrical, cable, phone, and gas. Seal any gaps with a suitable caulk. If drafts around windows persist, consider getting your windows replaced. Glass with multiple panes, spacers, or filler gasses (such as argon or krypton) will likely solve these problems. A professional can swap out your problem windows with more efficient models that will increase your level of comfort while decreasing your heating bills.
Protect your faucets from freezing
Close any shut-off valves that serve outdoor faucets and open the outside faucet to drain the line. If you don’t have shut-off valves, and your faucets are not “freeze-proof”, you may benefit from faucet covers. Drain and disconnect all garden hoses from outside spigots to prevent any water freezing. Not doing this can result in pipes bursting.
Preparing your home for the fall and winter months may be the last thing you want to do on a crisp fall day, but it is necessary to get your home in shape for the months to come. Call HomeWise Roofing & Exteriors to keep your home in peak condition all winter long.