We know it seems like cold weather is far away when we’re stuck in the heated days of August. What most homeowners don’t realize is that now is actually the best time to focus on pre-winter home maintenance tasks.
If you’re like most of us, you’ve had a lot on your plate lately. However, that shouldn’t stop you from taking care of your home, especially when you’re spending so much time inside. And with cooler weather on the way, the amount of time spent indoors will only increase.
Here are the top five things you need to do in the couple next months before cold temperatures really arrive. These tasks help make your home ready for winter and safe for your family.
1. Schedule a Roof Inspection
Let’s start with one of the most protective elements of your home: your roof.
The storms and heat of summer can give your roof quite a beating. According to the experts at Good Rich Roofing, your roof system can even go into thermal shock due to big weather changes. When cold temperatures come around, the system contracts after the heat of summer. This leads to strain and damage.
Before autumn brings in crisp temperatures, we suggest having a professional look at your roof. While you’re up there, clean out your gutters, too. Chances are, plenty of debris has gathered there over the course of spring and summer.
Checking the integrity and cleanliness of your roof ensures that your home is ready for cold rain, snow, ice, wind, and other elements that often accompany the later months of the year. Don’t leave this step until the last minute – minimize the risk of serious damage by scheduling your inspection ASAP.
2. Get Your Furnace Checked
Next, we recommend having your furnace serviced by a reputable HVAC company. You likely haven’t used your furnace in months, but when cold temperatures roll in, you need it to be in tip-top shape.
Regular tune-ups don’t just help you stay warm in the winter. They also extend the life of your furnace, which can cost hundreds of dollars to replace.
You’ll also want to ask the HVAC expert to switch out the filter on your furnace. A clean furnace traps harmful air particles and ensures that your family is breathing clean, pure air – something that’s vital no matter where you live or how cold it gets outside.
3. Look for Any Leaks
You should take some time to evaluate your doors, windows, and other entry points to your house. These areas are prone to thermal leaks where heat escapes, wasting money and preventing your house from feeling comfortable.
If you spot any leaks, use patch caulking or weather stripping to trap heat inside. Don’t wait until you feel that cold breeze sneaking inside – take care of your leaks today while temperatures are still warm. The longer you wait, the more money you waste heating and cooling your home.
4. Perform Fireplace and Chimney Maintenance
According to USFA, 19.6 per cent of all fatal residential building fires are caused by carelessness. Another 8.4 per cent of residential building fire injuries are caused by open flames.
We don’t share these statistics to scare you but to reveal just how important it is to take fireplace maintenance and safety seriously.
If you’re not going to use your chimney, we would recommend boarding it up to prevent cold air from creeping inside during the winter. If you are going to use your chimney, it’s vital that you clean it out.
Chimney fires occur fairly often during the winter months, and almost all are caused by blockages and/or poor fireplace maintenance. Prepare ahead of time by hiring a professional to assess the state of your chimney and clean it as necessary.
5. Check Your Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Last but not least, don’t forget about your carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is both odourless and colourless – when it escapes into your house, you might not even realize it. In worst-case scenarios, it can kill, especially when it builds up indoors.
Having your chimney checked yearly is one way to ensure carbon monoxide doesn’t build up. You’ll also need to make sure gas appliances are vented properly, water heaters are serviced, and all coal/oil-burning appliances are maintenance.
Ensure your detectors’ batteries have been replaced. Winter is one of the worst times for carbon-monoxide poisoning – January alone has three times the fatality rate recorded in August and July.
Don’t wait until the last minute to take care of your autumn to-dos. Now’s the time to prepare, before temperatures drop and you’re ready to huddle up inside.
Bring in professionals to check on your roof, chimney, fireplace, and carbon monoxide detectors. Clean out your gutters, search for leaks, and make your home ready for cold weather. The more you do upfront, the better prepared you’ll be when autumn arrives in full swing