Getting your home ready for winter.
We had an amazing summer here in the Pacific Northwest this year, lots of sun and dry weather to get all those home projects out of the way. Now that Autumn is in full swing, it is time to start preparing your home for the coming winter months, and the bad weather comes along with them. As roofing contractors, we come across a lot of home repairs that could have been prevented with a few simple steps by the home-owner. But Fall Home Maintenance not only prevents future repairs, but it will save you money on your energy bills as well. Lets take a look at some of these important annual tasks.
We mentioned energy savings above, and this is a big one! Heating and cooling amount to nearly half of the energy costs in your home.
Windows and Doors: Check your windows and doors for air leaks, especially if you haven’t installed new energy efficient windows. Either feel closely with your hand for air flow, or hold a candle and check the perimeter, if there are any drafts, the smoke from the candle will be drawn to that area. Apply weather stripping and caulking as needed.
Heating Systems: Another easy task that will save you the headache of repairs down the line is maintaining your heating system. Get in the habit of changing your furnace filter every fall. A clean filter will distribute the heat better throughout your home, saving you money. And be sure to have your heating system checked by a licensed heating contractor, don’t wait for a problem to arise. Don’t forget about your wood-stove / fireplace! Creosote buildup (a combination of wood tar, organic vapors and moisture) can lead to a damaging fire, so get your chimney and fireplace cleaned before you put it back into use this winter.
Did you know changing the direction of your ceiling fan creates an upward draft that redistributes warm air from the ceiling?
Autumn Yard Maintenance
As we wrap up any yard projects, it is important to take a few steps to make sure that your yard is ready for the winter as well.
Trimming plants and trees around the house will take away hiding spots for critters who may eventually try and enter your home. This will also prevent clean up and potential damage to your home when a storm hits, sending tree branches flying.
Prepare your yard equipment for storage, which includes draining fuel from all gas-operated equipment such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, and chain saws. Draining and putting away hoses and shutting off outdoor water valves is also very important to help to prevent frozen pipes over the winter. It is also a good idea to put winter equipment such as salt, shovels and snow blowers where you can get to them easily.
Now is a good time to fertilize the lawn with a high phosphorous mix to ensure healthy grass in the spring.
“Caulking and sealing openings is one of the least expensive maintenance jobs,” says Michael Hydeck, Hydeck Design Build, Inc., Telford, PA, and National President, National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). “Openings in the structure can cause water to get in and freeze, resulting in cracks and mold build up,” he says. “Regardless of whether you live in a cold or warm climate, winter can bring very harsh conditions resulting in water or ice damage. A careful check of the outside structure combined with inexpensive maintenance can save you money in the long run.” I know you did this inside your home, but it is important to be thorough, so make sure to check the foundation for cracks and caulk around the areas where masonry meets siding, where pipes or wires enter the house, and around the windows and door frames.
Gutters and Downspouts: Autumn is a beautiful season here in the Pacific Northwest, but one of the things that make it so beautiful, can also be a hazard – falling leaves. Be sure to keep your gutters and downspouts free from debris, hire a professional, or clean them yourself and flush them with water. You may have to do this a couple of times this season depending on the amount of trees you live by. It is very important, because backed up gutters can lead to water damage and ice dams. Don’t forget to inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary as well.
Inspect your roof: Of course we saved the best for last, we kind of have a thing for roofs! Do a visual inspection of your roof, check for loose or missing shingles, if you have an excess of graduals in your gutters, your shingles might be ready for replacement! Look for dips or sags on your roof, this can indicate that the decking is in need of repair. If your roof is more than 20 years old, it is a good idea to get an inspection by a professional roofing company to check for problems that might not be visible from below.
“Your roof is your first defense in protecting your home. Without it functioning properly, water damage can occur. This causes deterioration to insulation, wood and drywall, making electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems vulnerable. It’s better to proactively deal with repairs in the fall than to discover a leaky roof during a snowstorm. For safety’s sake, have a licensed, certified roofing professional check the condition of your roof.” says Jay Butch, Director, Contractor programsfor CertainTeed
Let Us Help!
Your home is a major investment! You can keep it at its best with simple maintenance, and Fall is one of the best seasons to schedule annual check-ups and services! Your roof is the topping of your home investment, don’t let it go this season with out proper care! We at Chase Construction NW, Inc. have a passion for roofs, and for our customers! If you are in need of a roof inspection, repair, or replacement, let us provide you with a free, no obligation estimate! We have over 15 years of experience and our team is highly knowledgeable and capable in all types of roof installations. We provide services in King County and Pierce County, along with major cities such as Seattle, Tacoma, Puyallup, Federal Way, Renton, Auburn, Des Moines and all of the surrounding cities. Contact Chase Construction North West, Inc. today! Fill out our free estimate form or call us at 253-445-8950.