is your home prepared for the upcoming winter months?
The colder temperatures this past weekend reminded us that winter is coming! Whether you’re a fan of those crisp and cool East Tennessee mornings or not, being prepared is important. I posted a few winter home maintenance tips below that I thought you could all benefit from.
Clean the Fireplace
Everyone loves to cozy up next to a warm fire on a cold winter evening. It’s also relatively easy and inexpensive to maintain your fireplace. Cleaning the fireplace is essential before you start using it this fall and winter. After a particularly cold winter, there’s a good chance that creosote (an extremely flammable oil produced by coal or wood ash smoke) will build up on the interior of the chimney. If it’s not removed, it can catch fire when you light your fireplace. To get your fireplace fire-ready, hire a chimney sweep to get rid of the creosote and other build-up.
Inspect Your Roof
Your roof endures the brunt of the wintry conditions. Ensure that you check your roof regularly for any signs of damage and don’t leave the repairs for later! Harsh weather conditions can cause your roof tiles to break and create exposed areas where leaks and holes can form. Water leaks can cause extensive damage, especially if they aren’t addressed right away! Have a roofing professional check your roof if you notice any signs of damage and let them perform the necessary repairs sooner rather than later.
Service Your Heating System
Cold temperatures cause the heating system to work overtime in the winter. Have your heating system checked by a professional if you hear strange noises coming from the vents, or if you suddenly notice cold spots in parts of your home. This could indicate a problem with the ventilation. Don’t wait for the heating system to totally breakdown before you have it serviced. It’s always a good idea to have a heating professional perform regular maintenance on your system to keep it in proper working order.
Check Your Insulation
Attic insulation protects your ceilings from air leakage and makes sure your home doesn’t lose heat. If your insulation is worn from years of weather or pest infestations, the heating system is working double time to counter cold air coming from the attic. You could also be spending a lot more money heating your home than you should be. Installing insulation yourself can present numerous hazards, so allow a qualified and experienced professional with the correct safety equipment to properly install new insulation and keep your ceiling intact. Do not cut corners here!
Be Prepared for Snow
The snow may not be here yet, but snow and ice build-up can be dangerous. Make sure your household has all the necessities to help prevent any dangers this coming winter. For your safety, and for the safety of your family members and neighbors, it is important to have a snow shovel and salt ready to remove any ice or snow on your walkways. Also, make sure your flashlights are working, your mobile devices are charged and you have a backup heating source in case your power is lost due to snowy or icy conditions.