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Ten Things to Check Around Your Home Before Winter Sets In

Like it or not, winter is right around the corner. Now is the time to prepare your home for the kind of weather most houses don’t like. Cold rain, strong wind, falling leaves and freezing temperatures all bring the possibility of a home repair emergency. We recommend you take the time now to review this winter home readiness checklist:

  • Make sure your heating system is ready
    Have your furnace inspected each year.  If you have a high-efficiency system, PVC vent pipes need to be cleared of any obstructions. If you have a boiler, it needs to be cleaned every year. Gas systems should have a cleaning every three years.
  • Check the fireplace and the chimney
    Before you use your fireplace or wood stove for heating, have the chimney or flue inspected and cleaned by a professional. Chimney fires cause more than 20,000 home fires annually. Plus, a blocked chimney or flue can increase your chances of carbon monoxide poisoning.
  • Check the Roof
    Give the roof a good look before winter hits. If you see loose or missing shingles, now is the time to repair and prevent leaks.  At Ferris, we’ll give you a free roof consultation.
  • Check the efficiency of your windows and doors
    Newer windows and doors employ advanced energy efficiency technologies such as protective coatings and improved frame assemblies to help keep heat in. An investment now in updated windows and doors will pay you back every month, year-round.
  • Do you have high-performance siding?
    New energy-efficient siding products keeping your home warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and are designed to better protect your home from the elements. Not only will your house look fresh and clean, but your utility bill will look a lot better, too.
  • Insulate to prevent frozen pipes
    Insulate pipes near windows, doors and in areas of the home that are unheated. Make sure to keep temperature around the pipes no lower than 55 degrees F.
  • Is your home’s insulation adequate?
    Adequate home insulation will help moderate temperatures in your home. If your insulation is insufficient, your heating system will work overtime this winter. By adding some insulation to your attic, walls and crawlspace, you’ll save on heating costs.
  • Make sure your gutters are doing their job
    Step outside during a rainstorm and give your gutters a performance review. Are they leaking, sagging, or just plain failing? You might want to upgrade with seamless gutters that lower the chance of debris collection, leaking, and pooling water around your foundation. Gutter guards are good to keep leaves and debris from clogging your gutters.
  • Inspect Walkways and Outdoor Lighting
    Short days require outdoor lights function properly for safety. Prevent falling – or your visitors from falling—by making sure walkways are clear, well maintained, and well lighted.
  • Seal Up the Attic
    Squirrels and birds will be looking for warm spaces for shelter Don’t let them choose your attic. Critters can cause damage and possibly present health problems. Make your gable vents are intact. It’s a good idea to tack a screen up behind your gable vent just in case. Also walk around your home and look up at your soffit and fascia. Make sure there are no holes that will allow birds to get in.

Winterizing has long been one of our specialties at Ferris Home Improvements. Give us a call, and let’s see which services are best for you this year.