5 Home Tips for Fall/Winter Weather
Get your home ready for the cold and inclimate weather BEFORE the cold hits
Rolling the calendar over from September into October, should be the annual signal for most homeoners in the Kansas City area to start prepping your home for the various versions of inclimate weather our city faces most every year. As with most things in real estate (and your home), waiting is likely to cost you.
The cold air is one thing but the added element of freezing rain, snow, and ice can reek havoc on your home if certain common maintenance measures aren't taken to protect your home from rigid mother nature. Let's jump into it...
1. Watch your local weather carefully. When you start noticing low temps approaching the low-mid 30's on a frequent basis, jump on out to those hose-bibs and disconnect the hose from the spout. If not disconnected, the water in the line and house can freeze. When water freezes, it expands as it takes shape to ice. This expansion can crack the interior line of the hose bib causing a big leak, letting water run into your siding and/or onto your foundation with little to no relief. This can cause a hefty expense to fix. Save some bucks by disconnecting early.
2. Hire a trusted HVAC technician to service your furnace system with a tune-up. This will not only make sure you're all ready to stay warm but they'll check for leaks in lines, properly running fans & motors, make sure you have your air filters sized correctly, and check the main board for any inconsistencies. Losing a furnace in the middle of the winter can make for a few chilly days in your home, and it always seems to happen on the heels of a holiday LOL
3. Check your exterior window frames, door frames, siding seems, and concrete areas for open cracking and/or gaping. Again, water is the enemy of our homes integrity and these small fissures can allow water to seep in. Upon freezing, the gaps and cracks can be expanded further and grow in size over the period of months. Simple solution is to seal any visible issues with caulk (on siding, windows, & doors) and epoxy (on concrete). Pro-Tip: if in doubt of the correct material to use... simply take pictures of the areas in question and seek out a home-depot or handyman professional for their advice. Most products are easy to apply with a caulk gun and maybe a ladder. If you need a handyman, I've got a great resource for that.
4. If you enjoy a cozy fire on those super cold or romantic winter nights, you may want your fireplace inspected first. A good inspection can identify any blockages or identify any hidden dangers. A good cleaning could be a recommendation as well. Whatever you do, DO NOT use a wet/dry vac on your fireplace and try to clean it yourself... sut damage can be very expansive and expensive (I've heard some horror stories on this one- not even kidding)
5. Check your exterior plug-ins and outlet covers. All exterior plugins should be GFI protected as they have the potential to be exposed to moisture. We all love lights on the house and holiday lawn decor, but better to spend about $30/outlet and mitigate any fires during the holiday season.
Honorable mention: If you can swing it, adding a whole home humidifier system can actually benefit the interior of your home as well as kdep your skin from drying out in your home over the cold months. Having proper humidity levels in your home can maintian the intergity of window seals, door deals, tiling in showers & kitchen, paint at the corners of walls & windows, etc. Most units run between $500-$800 installed by HVAC professional.
For a list of my preferred vendors including HVAC technicians and handyman services, contact me prior to Old Man Winter showing up.