By Anita Ginsburg
With cold weather heading toward much of the country, you'll likely want to ensure that your home is ready to deal with the hazards of winter weather like ice, snow and cold temperatures. Don't assume that just because everything seems to be in good shape now that you won't experience any problems over the course of the winter.
Here are some minor repairs and different inspections you can do to ensure that your family stays warm and dry through winter:
Walk around the external foundation of your home to look for cracking, crumbling or other signs of decay. Loose, weak or broken foundation cement or bricks can let in moisture that could cause serious damage in the months ahead. Inspect the inside foundation for similar problems and call a specialist to repair any damage before cold weather arrives.
Schedule an annual maintenance visit with an HVAC expert to keep your furnace working efficiently. If it's getting old or worn out, it may be time to consider a new furnace installation to keep your home comfortably warm through the winter months. You don't want your heating system to give out during the winter over a weekend when an HVAC technician's emergency visit costs more than a regular weekday appointment.
It's easier to have a new furnace installed while the weather is still mild instead of waiting for a snowy, icy day when the driveway might be slippery and snow could get tracked through the house. You'll appreciate the peace of mind of having an up-to-date, reliable furnace that can supply the heat your family needs.
Strong winds or heavy rain can damage a roof over the summer without you even knowing it. Have a professional roof inspection done to check for missing or broken shingles, deteriorating gutters and downspouts, or a missing chimney cap. Don't wait until several inches of icy snow has piled on your roof and caused a leak in your home. Have any needed repairs done now before the weather turns frigid.
Drippy faucets or clogged drains can cause water buildup or mold growth. For problems like these that you may have been ignoring or if it's been a while since your plumbing was checked, contact a plumber for an evaluation of your water lines and pipes. Make sure the plumbing is insulated adequately so your pipes won't freeze and burst in the freezing temperatures.
Have these important home features checked out now so you can rest easy when fall turns into winter. Inspections, assessments, repairs and replacements will keep your home operating comfortably and safely!
Anita Ginsburg is a freelance writer from Denver, Colo. She studied at Colorado State University and now enjoys writing about health, business and family. A mother of two wonderful children, she loves traveling with her family whenever she isn't writing. Ginsburg recommends getting furnace installation taken care of before winter hits. You can find her on Twitter @anitaginsburg.