It’s that time of year again, when there is a chill in the air and the leaves are nearly finished falling from the trees. The rain has taken hold here in the Pacific Northwest and soon it will be winter. Meaning there is no better time than the present to prepare your home for the cold season. Taking the following steps will help to ensure that your home will receive little to no damage this winter:
- Clean your gutters
Your gutters should be cleaned seasonally but especially right before winter. There are two reasons for this: 1) If there is too much weight on your gutters (i.e., snow), they can fall off your home, 2) clogged gutters can cause water damage due to melting snow and ice having nowhere to drain. We may not receive a lot of snowfall here in the Pacific Northwest, but it’s better to be safe than sorry as water damage from clogged gutters can cause thousands of dollars of damage.
- Have your roof inspected
Having your roof inspected is super important, especially here in the PNW where we receive heavy rainfall. You can inspect your roof yourself or hire a contractor to do it. Look for and replace any loose shingles. Doing so will help to prevent leaks and water damage caused by leaks.
- Cut back tree branches
Cut back any tree branches that are too close to your home for comfort. It’s better to be safe than sorry as this will help to prevent roof damage caused by tree limbs that break off during stormy weather.
- Have your chimney inspected
If you have a fireplace, it’s extremely important to get your chimney inspected prior to the cold season to prevent a chimney fire from occurring. Each time you burn wood, it causes creosote to build up inside of your chimney. Creosote is highly flammable, not to mention cancerous.
- Caulk the wood trim on the exterior of your home
Caulk around your doors, windows, and anywhere else there is wood trim on the exterior of your home. This will help keep heat inside of your home and protect the wood trim from the elements. Doing this yourself with a caulk gun and tube of exterior silicone caulk will save you a pretty penny.
- Get your furnace serviced
Have an HVAC technician service your furnace and change the filters. This will help it run more efficiently during the winter, saving you money on heating costs. Changing the filters will also help to prevent a house fire from occurring.
- Test your smoke & carbon monoxide detectors
Most house fires occur in the winter when we’re using our furnace and fireplace the most. Ensuring that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working will help to keep you and your family safe.
- Check your drainage
In order to help prevent damage to your home’s foundation, as well as insect and rodent infestations, it’s super important to check your home’s drainage before the start of winter. Walk around the exterior of your home and identify any areas where the soil has settled. Fill any low spots with soil to prevent water from pooling. Also, make sure to check your home’s gutter downspouts and add downspout extenders where necessary to make sure that water is being moved away from your home.