As winter approaches, it’s important to make sure a home is ready for the colder months ahead. Here's how to avoid some potentially costly mistakes.
HouseLogic offers the following tips:
1. Protect outdoor faucets.
It’ll cost about $2 to buy a protector for an outdoor faucet, and that small investment could save owners up to $15,000 in potential damages. Frozen water can cause a lot of damage, and an outdoor faucet is particularly susceptible to freezing temperatures. Remove the garden hose from the outdoor faucet, drain it, and add a faucet protector, which will prevent cold air from entering the pipes.
2. Remove icicles immediately.
Even in North Carolina, we can get snow and ice storms. Icicles may look pretty hanging from the edge of a home, but it’s a sign of an ice dam, a buildup of ice in a gutter or roof that is preventing snow and ice from melting and draining through the gutters. Those ice blocks, left untouched, can lead to pricey roof repairs. Also, for homes more prone to them, it may be a sign of not enough insulation in the attic, says Chris Johnson, owner of Navarre True Value in the Twin Cities area.
3. Clean the gutters.
By the same token, when it rains, water pouring from gutters like a waterfall is a sign of trouble. That water can pile up on a foundation and cause damage. Clean the gutters a few times each fall to prevent clogs.
4. Don't let the cold air get inside.
This can be a costly mistake to heating bills. Sealing cracks with caulk can easily be done and will keep the cooler air out. HouseLogic suggests looking for visible cracks around windowsills, baseboards, and dryer vents.
5. Get your furnace serviced annually.
“Forget to service your furnace and you could easily cut five years off the life of your system,” says Danny Lipford, host of “Today’s Homeowner” television and radio shows. And those are costly: New units are around $4,000 installed. Also, don’t forget to replace furnace filters, which has been linked with trimming potentially 15 percent off your energy bill.
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