In case you hadn’t noticed, Old Man Winter is upon us! As important as it is to make sure your tires have tread and your antifreeze is topped off, your home needs some attention, too!
If you haven’t already, now is the time to call your HVAC professional to have your system cleaned and checked for any potential issues. If you’ve ever woken up in the middle of the night seeing your breath puff above you, you’ll know where I’m coming from. An emergency call to fix your furnace will be far more inconvenient and expensive than a routine check, after all. Does this guarantee nothing will go wrong? Of course not, but it’s a great step to stave off potential issues.
Have outside spigots? Be sure your hoses are disconnected, the valves are shut off from the inside if that’s applicable, and they are drained. Pooling water left in the line can cause issues and if your hoses are left outside you can kiss them goodbye come spring. It’s a good idea to call your plumber, since your heating pro is heading out anyway, to make sure this is done properly. While they’re at it they can give your water heater a drain and once over as well. Like changing the batteries in your smoke alarms, doing this type of routine maintenance at specific times of the year helps ensure your home is being kept up to snuff.
Love roasting chestnuts by the open fire? Better get your chimney cleaned first! Build up from last year can be a fire hazard after all, and I’m sure you don’t want your chestnuts quite THAT roasted. While they are sweeping, the flue and liner will also be checked to make sure you’re good to go.
The leaves have now fallen, so clean your gutters! It’s very important your gutters and downspouts are clear of debris this time of year. That melting snow needs somewhere to go, otherwise you’ll have pooling water on your walkways that can be hazardous or excessive moisture seeping into the ground around your foundation that could cause water intrusion.
Speaking of sidewalks, sealing them before the freezes set in will help keep the concrete from cracking. The freezing and thawing of this season’s moisture can cause heavy wear and tear on concrete surfaces. In case you didn’t know, concrete is pretty pricey so the longer it lasts the better. While you’re at it do a quick check of your doors and windows to see if they need any caulking done to keep those cold breezes where they belong – outside!
Just a few quick chores and your house will be snug as a bug and ready for a long winter’s nap. Oh! One last thing. Don’t forget to enjoy the opportunity of spending time with those you hold most dear this season allows us. That timeless tune is absolutely correct – this IS the most wonderful time of the year…
Melissa Berube, 2019 MBOR President