As the days get shorter and the temperature continues to drop, it’s time to start thinking about winterizing your Pittsburgh area home. Here are five easy home maintenance tips to help you get through the winter months.
1. Check Your Gutters
One of the most important maintenance tasks to do in the fall is to clean out your gutters. Clogged gutters can cause a number of problems, including water damage to your foundation and leaks in your roof. To avoid these problems, be sure to remove all leaves and debris from your gutters before the first snowfall. You may also want to consider installing gutter guards to make future maintenance easier.
2. Inspect Your Roof
Your roof is one of your home’s most important lines of defense against the elements, so it’s important to make sure it’s in good condition before the winter weather hits. Look for signs of damage, such as missing or damaged shingles, and have any repairs made as soon as possible. You should also make sure that your attic is properly insulated to prevent heat from escaping through the roof.
3. Service Your HVAC System
If you have a central heating and cooling system, now is the time to have it serviced by a professional. This will help ensure that it’s operating efficiently and will prevent any unexpected breakdowns during the coldest months of the year. Be sure to change your air filter regularly as well; a dirty filter can reduce your system’s efficiency by up to 15%.
4. Seal Any Drafty Windows
Drafty windows are not only annoying—they can also increase your energy bills by allowing heat to escape from your home. To resolve this problem, simply apply weatherstripping around the perimeter of each window and door. You may also want to consider installing storm windows for an extra layer of protection against the cold.
5. Protect Your Pipes
Frozen pipes are one of the most common wintertime problems faced by homeowners. To prevent this from happening, insulate any exposed pipes in your home and allow a slow drip from faucets served by exposed pipes during periods of extreme cold. If a pipe does freeze, never try to thaw it with an open flame—this could result in a dangerous fire or explosion. Instead, use a hairdryer or a handheld heat gun set on low.
By following these simple home maintenance tips, you can enjoy a warm and comfortable winter without having to worry about costly repairs down the road. As an extra precaution, schedule a professional home inspection to discover any areas that need attention. So what are you waiting for? Start preparing today!