Now that fall is officially here and overnight temperatures in the Lehigh Valley area are getting quite cool, it is time to prepare your property for winter. Preventive maintenance that costs little or no money can save a homeowner thousands of dollars and avoid costly repairs.
To prepare for colder winter weather:
- Inspect Your Roof: Using a ladder, look at your roof to check for loose or missing shingles. Be sure there are no exposed areas that would allow moisture to reach the decking of your roof. Replace missing shingles or contact a contractor experienced in roof repair to patch any deficient areas.
- Trim Trees: Trim trees away from structures, windows or rooftops. Heavy snow and ice can cause trees to bend or even break, resulting in damage to structures hit by falling trees. It is amazing the damage even a quarter inch of ice can do!
- Clean Gutters: Remove leaves, pinecones and other debris from gutters. Make sure water can flow freely and that the gutter is sloped toward the downspout. An overburdened gutter can fall down or overflow. Water can damage the foundation of a home or business. Icicles that hang off the gutters in winter are pretty but are also a sign of poor insulation and water backups!
- Install Attic Insulation: A good layer of insulation adds extra warmth. Look at your rooftop after a snowfall and see if any spots are melting unevenly. Attic insulation can be installed by a professional or by the homeowner. This is one of the best investments for a homeowner! Purchase insulation in rolls at home improvement store and have it delivered.
- Inspect Your Furnace: Hire a professional to inspect, clean and repair your furnace if necessary. A heating system that is functioning correctly can save a homeowner money over one that is not as efficient.
- Seal Gaps in Doors and Windows: Insulate gaps in doors and window to keep warm air in and moisture out. Silicone caulk is best for exterior use.
- Turn off Outdoor Spigots and Drain Water Lines: Turn off the valve to outdoor spigots. Vales may be located in your basement. Then let the spigot run dry. This prevents the lines from freezing.
- Prepare Your Fireplace: Have your fireplace inspected! Have a professional clean and inspect your chimney to prevent house fires!