The outdoor pools have closed, school is in session, and pumpkin spice lattes are back again. While we don’t want to think about the bitter cold that’s ahead of us, now is the right time to prepare for it by getting some important and preventative tasks done around your home. To get you ready, we’ve compiled our top projects to get done now so you can feel assured when the brisk air comes rolling in.
1. Clean your gutters once the leaves have fallen. Leaves and other debris can clog gutters once the snow moves in. Ice dams, which occur when melting water backs up and freezes, can cause damage to your roof and eventually leak into your house. While you’re clearing out the gutters, also check and tighten gutter hangers and brackets. Make sure the downspouts are extended at least five feet from your foundation, and replace any worn sections.
2. Walk around the exterior of your home and carefully look for cracks to caulk. Cracks can be the source of air and energy loss. Caulk can help prevent heat loss and also help prevent moisture from getting inside the walls of your home. You’ll also want to caulk and seal where any wiring comes through walls or floors.
3. Inspect your roof. Look for buckled, cracked or missing shingles. Replace any damaged shingles right away, and be sure to examine the flashing and look for any rust spots. Rust spots are a sign that there may be damaging leaks. If you find any large areas of moss, your roof may be rotting the shingles. Contact MA Peterson for all of your roof as well as your drafty window replacement needs.
4. Examine your driveway for cracks. Winter is the season that your driveway is damaged the most so sealing prior to winter is best. Clean out and repair any cracks or holes with driveway filler, then use a commercial sealer.
5. Once you’ve turned off you’re air conditioner, cover your AC unit. Covering your unit helps prevent water from lying directly on its coils and freezing, which could potentially could damage the unit. Make sure to cover the unit after enough time to dry any rain that may have fallen in it. Covering the unit too early could trap moisture and also cause damage.
6. You may want to think about adding insulation in your attic or inside your walls. This can also help save on your energy bills. More insulation can make a big difference in how well your home holds heat in winter and stays cool on those hot summer days.
7. Check your fireplace and furnace. There is no worse feeling than what you feel after realizing your fireplace, or worse, that you’re heat isn’t working. You’ll want to ensure your fireplace, chimney and vents are clean. An expert cleaning can help prevent buildup of carbon monoxide or chimney fires.
8. Get your deck and patio ready for winter. Your deck has taken a lot this summer – rain, hail, sun. Give your deck a good cleaning followed by a protective finish. Once the snow comes around, make sure to shovel on a regular basis to avoid any damage.
Although the homeowner can easily do many of these items, other larger items like roofs, windows and or the idea of remodeling to make way for a useful mudroom will need a professional. With 37 years of experience, MA Peterson has been around to see what a Minnesota winters can do to one’s biggest investment— your house.
Contact us if you feel any of these items need a professional involved. We’re here to help.