No one really likes talking about winter when the sun is keeping temperatures in the mid-teens, but making improvements to areas requiring attention is always easier in slightly warmer weather. Now is the time to ensure your house is well sealed and weatherproofed for the coming harsh winter.
Here’s a homeowners’ checklist to make sure you’re ready to endure the change of seasons:
1. As you prepare to turn off your air conditioner, remove any leaves and other debris from the top of the unit. Protect the unit with a cover available at most big box retail stores.
2. Check the caulking around the pipe that travels between your air conditioner and furnace where it enters your house. If it’s missing, or intact but brittle, strip it and replace with new caulking.
3. Examine the caulking around your windows and doors. If it’s separated from the window or adjacent brick, stucco or siding, you’ll want to have it removed and replaced.
4. Review the exterior cladding and look for any areas of staining. This may be an indicator of moisture or in some cases dry rotting can occur if products are not installed properly.
5. Inspect your attic to ensure that your soffits are cleared and that air is moving freely through the soffits and out through roof vents. Adequate cycling of the air will prevent mold growth or dry rotting when there is no air movement. A properly vented attic space can also help minimize ice damming.
6. Look at your windows and doors and ensure that they close tightly. Where they do not, consider adding an additional weather stripping. This will reduce the amount of heat lost through gaps etc.
7. Check all venting and exhausts from your bathrooms, furnace and hot water tank. You’ll want to ensure that the pipes are clear with no obstructions. Louvers for exhaust fans should be operational and not binding. Rodents, birds or other debris that can clog the exhaust may be very costly to remove.
8. Close all water lines for exterior hoses completely from the interior of your home. Drain and disconnect the hose attached to the outside. Where you shut off the water, ensure you partially loosen the little brass screw to allow residual water to drain out.
9. If you have sprinklers, clear the lines to avoid pipe ruptures over the winter. Use a compressor, call Design-Spec Building Group Ltd., or find a service professional at EiEiHome to get the job done right.
Special to EiEiHome by Nick Malfara, President, Design-Spec Building Group Ltd.
Editor, Dawn Boshcoff