Get Your Mind in the Gutters
Your roof’s drainage system annually diverts thousands of gallons of water from your home’s exterior and foundation walls. That’s why it is so important to keep this system flowing smoothly. Clogged gutters can lead to damaged exterior surfaces and to water in your basement. They are also more prone to rust and corrosion.
Button Up Your Overcoat
A home with air leaks around windows and doors is like leaving your coat unbuttoned. Gaps in caulk and weather-stripping can account for 10% of your heating bill. Weather-stripping is easily the most cost-effective way to rein in heating and cooling expenses. 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 or call us for a professional.
Get on Top of Roof Problems
Few homeowner problems are more vexing than a leaky roof. Once the dripping starts, finding the source of the problem can be time-consuming. Stop problems NOW before ice and winter winds turn them from annoyances into disasters.
Start by inspecting your roof from top to bottom, using binoculars if necessary. Check ridge 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; if so, you can expect problems soon.
Take steps to ensure that outside faucets and in-ground irrigation systems don’t freeze and burst. Close any shut-off valves serving outside faucets then open the outside faucet to drain the line. (There may be a small cap on the faucet you can loosen to facilitate this draining.) If you don’t have shut-off valves, and your faucets are not “freezeproof ” types, you may benefit from styrofoam faucet covers sold at home centers.
Gather ‘Round the Hearth
Even if you use your fireplace only occasionally, you should check it annually for damage and hazards. Creosote is a flammable by-product of burning wood. If it accumulates in a flue or chimney, the result can be a devastating fire. Have your chimney inspected annually for creosote build-up. For most people, the best option is to have your entire chimney system inspected by an experienced chimney sweep.
Keep the Humidifier Humming
You may know that dry winter air is bad for your health, but did you also know it can make finished wood more prone to cracking? Both you and your home will feel more comfortable if you keep your central humidifier in tip-top shape during drier winter months.
Head-off Gas Problems
Keeping a gas water heater in good shape is both a safety and a cost concern. An improperly maintained hot water heater can spew poisons into the air of your home, or it may simply be costing you more to operate. Have a professional check this device annually.
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