10 Important Home Repairs to Make Before Winter

With all the gorgeous weather we’ve been having lately, now is a great time to take care of a few home repairs before the winter hits. Pre-winter repairs will keep your home running smoothly and efficiently in the months ahead while also protecting it from damage.

Straighten out the rain gutters.
Cleaning out the gutters and then testing the degree of the slope will ensure that water will run to the downspouts instead of backing and spilling over the exterior walls of your home.

Touch up exterior paint
Winter precipitation will rot bare wood on your home, garage, and fence. If you don’t have time to touch up the bare spots this fall, at least get a couple of coats of primer on bare surfaces to prevent rot from developing.

Replace weather stripping
Self adhesive weather stripping loses it stick after a couple of years. If the weather stripping around your house is more than a couple of years old, now’s the time to check the seals and replace weather stripping where needed.

Have the chimney swept
If you burn wood as a way to save on heating costs, make an appointment to have a certified sweep clean the chimney stack. This is not a recommended as a DIY task since improper cleaning can result in carbon monoxide build up or an increased risk of chimney fire.

Vacuum the back of the dryer
Winter weather means that your dryer will be putting in lots of overtime. To prevent accidental fire, use your shop vac to vacuum out trapped lint from both behind the dryer and inside the flex tubing.

Rotate the ceiling fans
For winter use, reset the direction of your ceiling fans to spin a clockwise direction. While you are at it, take a measurement from each blade to the ceiling to determine if the blades are balanced. If one blade is slightly lower than the rest, add a small weight to the opposite blade which will bring the paddles back into balance.

Repair damaged roof shingles
Whether you do it yourself or hire a pro, a roof inspection and repair is a must before wet weather sets in. Damaged shingles and missing vent or chimney seals make it easy for water to enter your home and damage what’s beneath.

Have the furnace checked
Your furnace will be working around the clock once cold weather sets in. To keep it running properly, make an appointment today for a certified technician to give it an annual service check and tune-up. Waiting til it conks out in the dead of winter may mean waiting several days for a repairman.

Check drainage paths around house
As nice as it is to have flower beds around a home’s foundation, improperly sloped beds will cause rain water and melted snow to drain into the basement. This can be avoided by checking the slope of the dirt around your home and using a rake to bank up the soil against the foundation where needed.

More by this contributor:

Why is there water in my crawl space?
How to bring more winter sunshine into your home
DIY fall & winter gutter maintenance

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