Monday, November 14th, 2016 by James Hartkorn
Image via energy.gov
The leaves have fallen and yard clean-up is finally finished. Rest at last, right? Not so fast. As you know, homeownership is a full-time gig, full of to-do lists and maintenance chores. So as one season exits another enters and yet another list of what needs to be done to make sure your house is in tip-top shape. At LeafGuard, our goal is to make sure you stay on top of everything you need to do. Here is a quick cheat sheet for what needs to be done as winter approaches.
Why it should be done: Winter winds are unforgiving and if you are not prepared you will feel it your bones and in your pocket book. Windows and doors are the obvious places to look first.
How: First, conduct a quick audit. On a windy fall day, get yourself an incense stick, light it and check around your windows and doors. The smoke will tell you if you have an issue. Get yourself to your local hardware store and pick up some silicone caulk and get to work. For older windows, it might be a good idea to seal them with plastic. Window kits are cheap, but effective.
Why it should be done: Your gutters should be cleaned at least once a year and there is no better time than before winter hits. Cluttered gutters can turn into huge problems, leading to expensive repairs. Clogged gutters can lead to ice dams, which can damage your home's exterior.
How: The long-term solution is very simple. Get yourself some LEAFGUARD gutters! Duh. Our maintenance-free gutter guards are the permanent solution to your annual gutter problem. No more cleaning. No more worrying. Problem solved. If this investment isn't in the cards this year, get out the ladder and clean them out the ol' fashioned way.
Why it should be done: Poorly insulated attic cannot only lead to a high heating bill, it can lead to the formation of ice dams on your roof. Heat that escapes your home through poorly insulated areas of your home can increase the heat of your roof. The added heat to an area of your roof can then lead to melted snow and eventually, an ice dam. Ice dams can cause severe damage to your roof and could lead to water damage.
How: Insulate your attic. It might be a good idea to ask a professional for an assessment. Depending on the difficulty of the job, you can either add insulation yourself, or have the professionals do it. If you are up to the challenge inspect the attic yourself and look for areas that are poorly insulated.
Why it should be done: If the farmer's almanac is correct, this winter could be extra brutal. Make sure you double check your home for pipes that could be at risk of freezing. The most obvious place to look is the water line that connects to your outside water spigot.
How: Make sure your outside faucet is drained properly. If you do not have a freeze-proof spigot, add some insulation to your piping closest to the outside of your home.
Why it should be done: It won't be long before you'll need to kick on the ol' furnace. Make sure it's ready to go and works under the right conditions all season long. Your furnace is not something that you want to neglect. Regular maintenance can go a long way to.
How: You may be able to do it yourself. We can all make sure a new filter is installed, but you might want to play it safe and have a professional give your furnace a check-up, before you increase its workload. Your furnace is one thing that you do not want to have to replace, so be nice to it.
Home maintenance may not be fun, but it's necessary. Winters can be harsh and you want to make sure everything works right during winter. Do yourself a favor: replace your gutters with LeafGuard gutters and permanently remove gutter maintenance from your list.