Take advantage of the milder weather this next week. Has Old Man Winter and the relentless rain we’ve had the last few weeks done any damage to your home? Go through the list below to see if your home and yard need any mending.
Gutter and Downspouts
Regularly clean gutters and downspouts. Make sure all drainage areas are unblocked by leaves and debris. Consider installing gutter guards to make the job a lot easier.
Use a screwdriver to probe the wood trim around windows, doors, railings and decks. Use caulk to fill the holes or completely replace the wood.
How’s Your Roof?
Inspect your roof, or hire a licensed professional to examine your roof for wear and tear. If the shingles are curling, buckling or crackling, replace them. If you have a lot of damage, it’s time to replace the entire roof. Also, check the flashing around skylights, pipes and chimneys. If you have any leaks or gaps, heavy snow and ice will find its way in.
To prevent exterior water pipes from bursting when the weather gets below freezing, turn off the valves to the exterior hose bibs. Run the water until the pipes are empty. Make sure all the water is drained from the pipes, if not; the water can freeze up and damage the pipes.
Wrap water pipes that run along exterior walls with heating tape. It will save energy and prevent them from freezing.
Have your wood-burning fireplace inspected, cleaned and repaired to prevent chimney fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Furnace and Heating System
Clean and replace filters in your furnace or heating system. Contact a licensed heating contractor to inspect and service your gas heater or furnace to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. Your local utility company will often provide this service for free.
Hot Water System
If you use a hot water system for heating, drain the expansion tank, check the water pressure, and bleed your radiators.
Don’t Forget the Attic
Check the attic to make sure the insulation is installed properly. The vapor barrier on insulation should face down toward the living space. If it is installed incorrectly (with the vapor barrier facing up) then the insulation will trap moisture causing possible water problems. Cut slits in the vapor barrier to allow moisture to escape. To install attic insulation, unroll the insulation with the paper side out. Install small pieces of insulation between the joists on the attic floor. Be careful not to step between the joists.