It's Time To Get Your Home Ready For The Cold Weather

Preparing Your Home For The Cold Winter Months

Well like it or not, fall is here! When preparing your home for the cold winter months, and before the leaves start to fall and the air turns chilly, it’s a great time to do some seasonal maintenance around your home.  Shorter days and colder weather tend to creep up quickly, so before the outside work becomes too challenging, tackle these things to boost your home’s energy efficiency and prevent weather-related damage.

HAVE YOUR FURNACE INSPECTED:  It’s always smart to have your HVAC systems inspected regularly, before you need to use them.  In fact, experts say that as many as 75% of the calls they receive from homeowners without heat are a result of not having their furnace regularly serviced and cleaned.  Getting your furnace serviced now may keep your heating costs down through the cold months, and help keep the air in your home healthy.

INSPECT YOUR ROOF:  While this may not be a job for you, the homeowner, make sure you have a professional inspect your roof for cracked or buckling shingles, or any that are missing.  We endured a record-breaking amount of rain this summer, so check if you need caulking replaced, or if you have moss, mold or lichen building up, which are signs that there is deterioration under your roofing.  If you don’t trust your own evaluation, contact us for a connection to a certified inspector.

CLEAN YOUR GUTTERS AND DOWNSPOUTS:  As much as we’d like the autumn color to stick around, it actually passes quickly and you’ll want to make sure your gutters are free of leaves and debris that will block the flow of water off your home’s roof and structure.  Direct drainage away from your foundation, where it can pool and then permeate your basement or crawl space.  A landscaper can be very helpful in ensuring that your grading is efficient and keeping water away.

CHECK YOUR HOME FOR MOLD:  With the wet, wild summer we had and the accompanying humidity, mold can flourish.  You will want to check around leaky pipes, throughout your basement, and any other areas that you suspect might not get great ventilation.  Should you suspect you have a mold issue somewhere, it’s wise to get a professional in to remediate.

REMOVE WINDOW A/C UNITS AND CHECK WEATHERSTRIPPING AROUND YOUR WINDOWS AND DOORS: Mice and other critters can enter your home through tiny holes.  Patch them, and for larger entry points, cover the gaps with heavy-duty hardware cloth.  Visit the local hardware store and pick up weather stripping as well…gaps you can’t see can mean higher energy prices throughout the fall and winter, and can be easily repaired.  Remove and store any window a/c units so that your windows are air-tight against colder air from outside getting in.

KEEP YOUR AIR CLEAN AND CHECK ITS FLOW:  Focus on areas like vents, the hood over your stove, dryer vents, baseboard heaters and your room fans.  Dust buildup is a fire hazard and you’ll want to reduce the allergens in your home by ensuring the airflow is free.

NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO PAINT:  If you are thinking about selling next spring, NOW is the perfect time to tackle any interior painting projects that will help your home look its best.   Good ventilation is the key to adequate drying and personal safety, so open the windows and start adding instant value to your home with some fresh paint!

I hope you find these tips helpful when preparing your home for the cold winter months and welcome any requests you may have for professionals to help you with any of them.  We’ll be sending more updates on the Bethesda/Chevy Chase/Potomac market as well, and hope you’ll contact us with any of your real estate-related questions.  In the meantime, enjoy the cooler weather that is just around the corner!