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Winter maintenance tips

Fall is actually the best time to prepare a property for the winter. It’s not just for decorative purposes alone, but also for changes in temperature that will increase the levels of moisture, making your property vulnerable to immediate wear and tear. But before you call any technician to help with your problem, here are a couple of do-it-yourself maintenance tips:

1. Cut-off dead branches and trim trees.
Changing weather can make branches or trees so weak that they are vulnerable to damage and breakage. They can destroy utility lines, your property, cars, or even injure a passerby. You should make an observation and remove dead branches, especially those that are damaged. You should also monitor those that have cavities or rotting because they are prone for easy breakage. The same goes with splits or cracks in trunks.

2. Conduct roof inspection.
This may be quite cumbersome, but it will prove to be a money saver down the road. Damaged roofs can easily be torn away every time it becomes windy. Conducting a roof inspection can also help spot problems related to sources of leaks. Also, watch out for flashing gaps between stairs, damaged mortar in the chimney, and loose or damaged shingles.

3. Maintain the gutters.
Clean all gutters so that the water can drain properly. This will reduces standing water and can slow down the thawing, expansion, or freezing process that usually happens during cold weather. Maintaining the gutters can also prevent damage to walls, basements, foundations, crawl spaces, landscapes, shrubs, and lawns. Perhaps you should consider gutter guards. They are actually screens that stop debris from finding their way into the gutter. Gutter guards also direct the flow of water towards the ground.

4. Check out the exterior walls of your home.
You should check for cracks, crumbling, or loose mortar. These are signs of weather-related damage. You should also inspect the sidings and wood trimmings as they can be easily weathered by deteriorating paint. Make sure that windowsills are not decayed, split, or cracked.

5. Your building should be properly insulated.
The attic should be approximately 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside. If more heat can escape, it will cause frozen water to melt. Moreover, refreezing and thawing can cause your roof to collapse.

6. Check your pipes.
Pipes that are exposed should be wrapped with a heating tape, especially during colder months. Rooms that are not finished, like a garage, should be insulated. More importantly, cracks and leaks should be dealt with immediately as they can cause substantial damage.

7. Maintain heating systems.
The inside of your building is prone to coldness. Thus, make sure that all of your heating systems are functioning properly. That includes the space heater, water heater, fireplace, boiler, furnace,  and wood burning stove. Change the batteries of the fire and smoke alarms, as well as carbon monoxide detectors. Remember also to change the air-conditioning and heating filters.

8. Repair handrails and steps.
Broken banisters and damaged stairs are dangerous as anyone can trip and injure themselves. Make sure all handrails and steps are checked and repaired wherever necessary.

9. Learn your plumbing system.
You should know where and how to shut off the water in the event of an emergency.

If you failed to do this in the fall it’s not too late, the groundhog saw its shadow which means six more weeks of winter. So, in the next six weeks, do what can safely be done to the interior of your home and begin planning your spring maintenance chores.

As always for more information check AC/C Tech.


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