You are going to start seeing a number of articles about preparing your home for winter. There is a reason. As the saying goes “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”
There are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself and your home this winter. First, due to the added rain and snowfall that comes with winter, you want to make sure that your home is protected from water intrusion. Protect yourself so that water doesn’t seep into your basement:
- Start with your gutters. Make sure they are clean! Clear out leaves, sticks, and debris so that your gutters channel water off of your roof, and away from your foundation
- Make sure there are splash-blocks at the base of each downspout. You want to make sure that the water coming down the downspout is directed at least 3 feet away from the house foundation
- Walk around your house (after a rainstorm for example), and make sure that there are no low spots next to your foundation walls. If there are low spots, get some fill dirt, and fill the low spot so that water can’t pool. Fill the low spot so that water is directed away from the foundation.
Second, you want to service your furnace. Thank of your furnace as your car. You probably take it in for servicing every 15,000 to 30,000 miles. When you do this, your car will run better, and last longer. Your furnace is no different! Most homeowners wait until the furnace has stopped running to do this. If you wait until the weather is cold and your furnace isn’t working, you and another 100 or so homeowners will be calling the furnace repairman to come fix your furnace. With a long list of service calls, it could be days before they get to you. Do it now. Contact your furnace repairman before it gets cold, and have them come and service your heating system. They will clean the unit, lubricate all the moving parts, and check your thermostat to make sure that everything is functioning properly. Do this before it gets cold, and you won’t be waiting in line. You may also get better pricing for the service because it’s not an emergency call.
Third, consider contacting a company that installs attic insulation. Here is an interesting statistic from The Residential Energy Consumption Survey (RECS):
Of 113.6 million homes in the United States:
- 64 percent are not well insulated. Most of these were built before 1980.
- 47 percent are drafty at least some of the time.
With the rising cost of energy, adding insulation to your attic will save you money by reducing your heating bill, and more importantly, it will make your home more comfortable during the cold winter months.
David Lupberger, author of the book Managing the Emotional Homeowner, draws on more than two decades of experience in the residential remodeling field, working with remodelers to develop proven business systems. Through his work in the remodeling industry, he hopes to redefine the way the remodeling industry operates so that the trust between quality remodelers, their customers, suppliers, and trade contractors can be leveraged and improved. Visit David’s website at: www.DavidLupberger.com