Winter is HERE, which means chilly mornings, cozy fireplaces, hot chocolate and, of course, dreaded ice storms. The good news is, if we act now, we can take preventive steps to avoid damage to our homes.
But where do we start? We caught up with John Ocelli, a local Dallas Home Inspector with Ocelli Inspection Services to determine which were the Top 5 Home Maintenance Issues You Must Handle Before Winter and compiled this handy checklist for you.
Protect Your Pipes
As we all know, when water hits a certain temperature, it freezes (thanks, Bill Nye). So in order to avoid expensive plumbing repairs, and, well, not having water for several days the simplest thing to do is protect your pipes.
In comes, Ocelli, “The best way to do this is to purchase a hose bib insulator and put those around every hose bib. Avoid wrapping things like towels around the bibs because those get wet and freeze and make matters even worse, stick with the hose bib insulators” says, Ocelli.
Check Your Gutters
If you don’t clean your gutters out when they’re clogged, you could be dealing with a costly roofing issue later. “The leaves pile up in the gutters blocking the water from passing into the downspout, and when the water freezes and then melts, it creates standing water that can rot the soffits, leading to a roof leak. The best thing to do is clear your gutters out before winter to ensure nothing is blocked” explains, Ocelli.
Watch The Heat
The safest thing to do before winter is “have your fireplace professionally serviced. There can be birds nesting, creosote buildup, and even an inoperable flue. It’s best to be sure none of these things are happening before operating your fireplace,” says Ocelli.
Since your fireplace isn’t the only thing keeping you warm, Ocelli also suggests having “your furnace serviced to make sure everything is operating properly, especially for older units.” We concur.
Trim Your Trees
Trimming your trees back will help you avoid a potential disaster or expensive roof repair when ice storms hit. “Loose branches and failing limbs can cause major damage to a roof, people, and vehicles,” Ocelli says.
I think we can all agree a large tree limb crashing through your bedroom in the middle of the night isn’t the best way to wake up.
Rodents are looking for a place to lay their head away from the cold during the winter, just like all of us, so be sure to have pest service performed to prepare for the winter months, especially if you live in rural areas known for rodents.
Ocelli notes, “If you have a pier and beam foundation, you’ll want to make sure screens are in place or installed to keep out any unwanted visitors.” And no, we’re not talking about your unwanted visitor, Aunt Edna.
John Ocelli is a local Dallas Home Inspector with Ocelli Inspection Services, who insulates all his hose bibs and makes sure your home is safe from the elements.