5 Winter Home Maintenance Tips
Cold temperatures have arrived in Northern Virginia and with that comes a friendly reminder to show your home some extra love in the form of winter maintenance. Maintaining your home as the seasons change will in the long run save you money and make it a more comfortable place to live. Do not defer maintenance until you have a problem – it can be very costly if you do.
Tune Up Your Heating System- For a nominal fee a technician will inspect your furnace or heat pump to ensure it's clean and able to achieve its intended efficiency. Get recommendations from neighbors or friends and look for a technician who belongs to the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans- If your fans have a reverse switch, turn it to clockwise for an updraft that will push warmer air down from the ceiling. This is especially helpful for those with high ceilings. While you’re reversing the direction the fan blows it’s also the perfect time to dust.
Check for Places Where Heat Can Escape- Windows and doors are prime targets for heat to escape. If gaps between the siding and or window/door frames are wider than a nickel, it’s time to apply exterior caulk. Silicon caulk is best for exteriors because it won't shrink or be impacted by the elements. If you can see daylight around your doors add weather stripping to close any gaps.
Look at the Roof- Inspect your roof closely for damaged, loose, or missing shingles. Contact a roofer to repair or replace as needed to avoid leaks during storms and melt offs. You also want to fix or replace breaks in the flashing around vent stacks and chimneys. If you've had a lot of icicles or ice dams, call a home energy auditor who can fix air leaks and inadequate insulation.
Check Your Gutters- Be sure they aren’t full of leaves. Leaves piled up in gutters will cause water to back up against the house and can damage roofing, siding, and gutters which can then lead to leaks and ice dams all over the house. Also, make sure water isn't draining from the gutters directly next to your foundation. Add extensions to your downspout to divert water four feet away from the foundation. This is an inexpensive and very easy fix!
If you decide to hire a professional to take care of any of these maintenance items and aren’t sure who to call contact Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group 703-988-3151 for a list of our preferred vendors. We would be happy to put you in touch with someone we trust and work with regularly.