You know the summer is about to end from the little things you see changing. The kids are back in school, colors are starting to shift on the neighborhood trees and there’s a hint of a chill each morning as the dew accumulates on the grass and automobile. These signs usually mean putting away the sandals for the year and prepping your home for trick-or-treaters. It also means you need to start thinking about preparing your home for winter.
Issues that pop up during the colder months can lead to a serious breach within your budget. Problems with heating elements or improper insulation can cause an emergency fund to be depleted and utility bills to skyrocket, not to mention the possibility of a gas leak that leads to hospitalization. You need to start preparing right this minute instead of the time the first cold snap is forecasted. Consider a few of these items to work on as soon as possible.
The two primary areas to consider are your gutters and the trees in your yard. Check the larger trees to see if any of their branches reach beyond your roof line or lay across the roof of a neighbor. Winter wind gusts or wet snows can cause these branches to collapse onto the roof and cause some serious damage. You may be able to remove these branches on your own depending on their height. Should this not be the case a tree removal service is a must to contact.
The clearing of branches is connected to the clearing of gutters for accumulated leaves, twigs or other debris. This build up, along with heavy snow or rain, can cause leakage and possibly collapse of these items. Again, you may be able to do this on your own to save money, even if it is a messy job. Best to get a professional to clear them out and place gutter guards on them to prevent debris from collecting.
Taking care of items inside the house is even more important than the outside to keep the interior warm and avoid a high heating bill. The most obvious thing to do is get someone out to make sure the heating unit is ready to run during the first frosty day. This includes checking the HVAC unit as well as any fireplace and corresponding vents. Vents should be cleared out on a regular basis to make sure the maximum amount of air is being pushed through the house.
The next thing to do is check for any drafts in the house. This can be done on your own; however, you may wish to pay a few bucks for an energy audit to determine the exact items that need extra padding or repair. This type of audit can include a check of attic insulation to see if any extra layers are needed.