The accumulation of dried, fallen leaves on the ground is a faithful reminder not just of the beauty of fall, but of the many preparations one has to do for winter. Aside from pulling out the cozy cold-weather clothes, anyone who owns a home in Kansas City has their work cut out for them once the cold months start approaching.
The following repair work that needs to be done around the house will protect your family, your home, and your bank accounts from the hefty utility bills that will come rolling in if you don’t prepare enough for the coming of snow:
1. Seal all doors and windows
Winter is not exactly the time to be letting the weather into your home, so make sure the space between your doors and windows and their frames are completely caulked shut. A good rule of thumb to follow is if you can slide in a nickel between these openings, then you need to do more sealing.
Your heating system will already be working doubly hard when it’s cold out — letting all that draft in would simply worsen the situation, possibly setting you back hundreds of bucks in power bills.
2. Tune-up your heating system
By having a technician come in to see if your furnace and heat pump are well enough and ready to face the wrath of winter, you will be saving yourself from the hassle of lining up with hundreds of other residents looking for available repairmen in the middle of the coldest days of the year.
You might think all is well with your heating system when the weather is not yet too bad, but it pays to always be a step ahead of nature when it comes to these things. Just imagine the suffering of having your heat go out and not being able to enjoy your heated floors!
3. Get your roof in its best shape
Along with your heating system, your roof must also be in pristine condition to welcome the cold. This means all roof replacement work must be done before it gets too cold for sealants to completely dry and activate. Sure, you can probably find roofing contractors that are willing to battle the sheet of fallen snow to do repair work in the middle of winter, but you’d be lucky if they can do a job as good as they can when it’s nice and dry out.
Any leaks and broken shingles have to be repaired before winter comes, so take the beauty of fall as an opportunity to repair everything there is to repair with your roof.
4. Clean up the gutters
Needless to say, winter-proofing your roof also entails completely cleaning out your gutters. You wouldn’t want to be caught in a situation where debris will derail the natural flow of rainwater, causing leaks, roof damage, and the formation of icicles. If you have the right equipment, you can do the gutter cleaning yourself. Otherwise, roofing contractors typically offer this as an add-on service whenever you get your roof checked or repaired, but be sure to ask them to be sure. It shouldn’t be too expensive — especially in relation to how much it would cost to repair the damage done by water backing up to your house.
5. Drain outdoor faucets
Forgetting to take care of your winter plumbing will definitely cost you a busted pipe or two when the water starts freezing in your outdoor pipes. You can avoid this by disconnecting all your garden hoses and draining whatever water might remain on the faucets. Modern homes should not have a problem with indoor faucets since those mostly have frost-proof installations. But in case you don’t have one, you also have to turn off your house’s shut-off valve, especially every time you have to leave the house.
6. Clean your chimney and stock up on firewood
Finally, if you are fortunate enough to still be living in a house that has a non-digital fireplace, make sure to give it a good sweep before burning the winter log. Any unwanted debris or blockages are considered fire hazards, so make sure you won’t end up being that one person who burned their house down in the middle of winter.
These repair and house maintenance repairs are easy to put off until you absolutely have to do them, but you’d be thanking yourself later if you get them done before the first snowfall.