The winter months can do some serious damage to your house and your pockets. Prevent damage to both by completing this checklist.
Clean Your Gutters
When gutters become clogged by leaves, pine needles, and debris, they will overflow, causing damage to your landscaping, basement, or foundation. The rule of thumb is to clean your gutters at the end of fall so that all the leaves are off of the trees and no more will collect in the gutters. That’s quickly approaching! You will want the gutters cleaned out before any freezing can happen. If water freezes with the debris in the gutters, it can cause ice dams that will result in mold, stains, and damage. The Third Estimate offers gutter systems with guards that will block debris from collecting and clogging your gutters.
Trim Overhanging Branches
Overhanging tree branches can be a danger to your roof. Branches can fall and break when too much snow has collected on them. These fallen branches can hit your roof and cause serious damage that needs to be repaired. Save yourself that hassle and trim those branches.
Seal Drafty Windows and Doors
Drafty windows and doors can cost you a lot of extra money on your heating bills this winter. To prevent heat loss in your home, caulk around the edges to block any cold air that may be creeping its way inside. Adding weather stripping to your doors and windows will also create a seal that won’t allow cold air in. When buying windows, pay attention to the Energy Star rating to ensure that you are purchasing an energy-efficient product. Lastly, swapping your lightweight curtains out for insulated thermal-lined curtains will do a lot to trap the cold air and keep it out.
Protect Your Pipes
Cold weather can cause pipes to contract and possibly burst. This is a problem that no one wants to deal with. To protect yourself from this happening, insulate vulnerable pipes with foam or fiberglass sleeves. This will prevent freezing. Also, keeping your faucet running, just a trickle at a time will keep the water circulating, thus preventing a freeze.
Inspect Your Roof
The roof is the part of your house that takes the worst beating from the elements. The winter throws snow, sleet, ice, wind, and debris at it, so you must make sure that your roof is prepared for that. Walk around your house to check for damaged or missing shingles. Any damaged areas will create a weak point in your roof that could cause leakage or cold air to seep through. Clear any debris from the roof. Debris combined with snow and ice is a recipe for home disaster. Leaks, broken shingles, and ice dams are sure to occur if not taken care of. Using a snow roof rake is a great way to clean your roof without the danger of getting on top of your roof with a ladder. You should avoid that at all costs.
Insulate Your Attic
Heat travels upwards in your house during the winter. If not insulated properly, your heat could be escaping out of your attic very quickly and costing you a lot of money on your heating bills. Make sure that your attic is properly insulated to keep your heat in and your bills low.