House to House: Is Your Home Winter Ready?
By Miki Bass, Chief Executive Officer
Arkansas Realtors® Association
My family woke up Saturday morning to the interior of our home being a chilly 56 degrees. While waiting for a call back from our Home Warranty company, I decided it was time to add a few cold weather tips to our House to House column. Not new ideas, but things all homeowners should probably be thinking about as Old Man Winter begins to flex his muscles.
#1-Clean Your Gutters
Remove leaves, acorns, sticks, and other debris from gutters, so melting snow and ice can flow freely. Water cannot freely run down your storm drain if your gutter has been filled with leaves. This may cause a backup in the drain. In winter months, the water will freeze and either pull the gutter off or cause an ice dam that will leak into the walls.
#2-Get a Furnace Tune-Up
If you don’t you could suffer a furnace that will die years before it should and create higher energy bills.
#3-Get a Fireplace Inspection
This is very important and could mean the life of you and your family. Be sure to schedule it early so you can enjoy the roaring fireplace all winter long.
#4- Replace Filters
Regularly changing the filters in your central air and heating system can improve its efficiency and longevity.
#5- Protect Your Outdoor Faucet
Remove your garden hose from your outdoor faucet and drain it. Add a faucet protector to keep cold air from getting into your pipes. They are really cheap and can save you thousands from cleaning up the damage of busted pipes!
#6- Wrap pipes with foam plumbing insulation
It is cheap, just like the faucet cover, and it is an easy job as long as you can reach the pipes.
#7- Clean your Windows
Sparkling glass lets more natural light into your home. Besides all that, daylighting is a great mood booster.
#8- Fertilize and Reseed your Lawn
In the fall, the roots of your grass are actually growing deeper to prepare for winter. Now is the best time to fertilize and reseed.
#9- Trim Your Trees
Any tree limbs that are dangerously close to power lines or the roof of your house should be trimmed in the fall. Heavy snow and ice can cause damage in the winter.
#10- Finally-Prepare an Emergency Kit
Buy flashlights/batteries, indoor candles, matches, and lighters for use during a power outage. Find the phone numbers for your utility companies and put them in your cellphone’s contacts. Store extra bottled water, non-perishable food supplies, blankets, and a first-aid kit in an easy to access location.
Contact Arkansas Realtors® Association or visit www.arkansasrealtors.com for more information about selling or buying a home in your area.
House to House is distributed weekly by the Arkansas REALTORS® Association. For more information on homeownership in Arkansas, readers may visit www.ArkansasRealtors.com.