Winterizing Your Home
Whether you are purchasing or selling a home, you should have an expert home inspection performed.
Get in touch with us for additional information about home inspections and a referral to a respectable home inspector in your area.
A home inspection will look at the systems that make up the building such as:
- Structural elements, foundation, framework etc
- Plumbing systems
- Energy systems
- Aesthetic condition, painting, siding etc
Related Article: Winterization Tips to Save Energy
If you are buying a home, you should know exactly what you are getting. A home inspection, conducted by an experienced house inspector, will reveal any hidden problems with the property therefore they may be addressed prior to the deal being closed. You will want to require an inspection at the time you make an official offer. Make sure the contract possesses an inspection contingency. Then, employ your own private inspector and pay close attention to the inspection report. In the event you aren’t at ease with what he discovers, you’ll want to kill the agreement.
Similarly, if you find yourself selling a house, you ought to know about these types of potential obscure problems before your home goes on the market. Nearly all contracts include the condition that the contract is conditional upon completion of a satisfying inspection. And a lot of buyers are going to insist that the inspection be an expert home inspection, usually by an inspector they hire. In the event the buyer’s inspector finds a problem, it can cause the purchaser to get cold feet and the deal can often fall through. At best, surprise issues uncovered by the buyer’s inspector will result in delays in closing, and usually you will have to pay for repairs at the last moment, or take a reduced price on your property.
It’s better to purchase your own inspection before putting your house in the marketplace. Learn about any hidden hassles and correct them beforehand. Otherwise, you can expect the purchaser’s inspector finding them, at the worst possible moment. Father Winter is settling in for a long wintry season. Before the temperatures plunge too far south, stick to these simple guidelines to winterize your house and save on utilities.
In Your House
- Have your heater system maintained to make certain it’s performing efficiently and not emitting deadly carbon monoxide.
- Clean permanent heater filters and switch out paper or disposable filters.
- Replace the battery packs in smoke and carbon monoxide sensors.
- If you have a wood stove or fireplace, get your chimney sweptback thoroughly. It should be cleaned before the soot build-up reaches a quarter inch thickness within the chimney conduit.
- Examine your water heating system for leaks and manage proper temperature setting (120 degrees recommended by Department of Energy). On aged water heaters with less insulation, for every 10 degrees Fahrenheit you reduce the temperature, you’ll save 6 percent of your water heating energy.
- Check the attic to see if insulation needs to be added or replaced. This is the most significant area of heat loss in many homes, so it is also important to see that it offers proper ventilation. Insufficient air flow can result in premature degeneration of the insulation materials. You might also need to check insulation in exterior walls, crawl spaces and along foundation walls.
- Examine all the windows and doors for air leaks. Install storm windows and putty, caulk or add weather-stripping as required.
- Check basement and cellars for seal cracks or leaking in walls and flooring.
- Make sure all vents are clean and operating correctly.
- Wash and vacuum baseboard heaters, heating ducts and vents.
- Remove or winterize air cooling units.
Related Article: Winterizing a Vacant Home
Outside Your Home
- Stow or protect patio furniture, toys and barbecue grill.
- Purchase rock-salt for melting snow and a shovel or snow blower if you do not currently have one. Be sure you have the right type of gas and oil at hand for your snow blower in the case of an unexpected snowstorm.
- Caulk joint parts and minor cracks on exterior wall surfaces and house siding.
- Seek out degenerating finishes. Slight problems can be patched to save the wood. Put larger jobs, such as scraping and refinishing painted or varnished areas, on the calendar for next spring or early summer.
- Blow out and shut off sprinkler systems and other external water lines to avoid frozen and broken pipes. Keep all bathroom taps just a little open.
- Protect outside spigots as well as other pipes that are susceptible to freezing but can’t be drained or shut off.
- Rake and compost leaves and garden debris, or put out for yard-waste pickup.
- Thoroughly clean storm drains, gutters and other drain pipes.
- Check the foundation for proper drainage. To accomplish this, spray yard with a hose to see if water runs out from the house. A little shoveling to reshape the earth beside the house may make the water run away from the foundation.
- Verify soil or heaps of wood don’t come into contact with or touch siding, welcoming termites and carpenter ants inside the house.
- Seal driveway and walkway cracks, if needed, prior to ground freezes regularly.
- Examine the roofing for loose, broken or missing pieces.
- Check attic vent openings for nests or other obstructions.
Related Article: How to Winterize Your Home