Preparing for Weather Changes
While the weather is still warm in North Texas, now is the time to tackle Fall and Winter projects to save time, energy, and money. Stressful unexpected surprises are not fun and always seems to come at the wrong time.
Hire a Chimney Sweep before you light a fire and make sure the chimney is not a fire hazard. Because it is off season, I received an excellent rate and a very extensive inspection because the certified Chimney Sweep was not as busy as he would be before the holidays or when the weather gets cold. Peace of mind trumps worry.
You do not know what you do not know and out of sight, out of mind is not being a responsible homeowner. A credible and reputable roofing company knows what to look for. Make sure they are insured. I do not recommend climbing the roof yourself. Roofers will look for issues with damaged flashing, curling, broken or missing shingles, holes around the chimney, broken mortar on chimneys, damage to shingle granules in gutters, potential leaks, and they are trained to know what to look for before it becomes a problem.
Tree Trimming, Cutting, Removals
Hire a professional to inspect, trim, cut, and remove dead branches, trees, and to make sure branches are not too close to the roof, fence, your house, utility lines, or the property next door.
Clogged gutters can cause major roof problems winter, spring, summer or fall. If you get snow and ice dams are forming in gutters when melting snow has no where to go, that can be a big expense with damage too. If you have no gutters, now would be a good time to consider purchasing and having gutters installed.
Gaps, Cracks, and Unwanted Visitors
Use caulk and/or weather stripping to keep warm air in and cold air and moisture out. Chalking may sound easy, but if you have not done it before you might want to have someone who knows how to do it correctly before you do it yourself. Fill in cracks near windows and doors and make repairs as needed. Weather stripping plugs the gaps on windows and doors. Squirrels, mice, roof rats, insects and pests are always looking for ways to find shelter when weather changes. They can cause major damage to the home, health, and safety.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
October is a good month to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace batteries and have extra batteries on hand. Depending on where you live, most smoke detectors should be replaced every ten years and carbon monoxide detectors every five to seven years.
I can not stress enough how important it is to make sure your connections are functioning as intended. Electrical fires are scary. Hire a Master Electrician to evaluate your electrical wiring, GFCI settings, and fixtures. There could be exposed and chewed wiring in the attic you don't know about. Better be safe than sorry. When it comes to children, tamper resistant outlets prevents shocks and injuries.
With home prices increasing, make sure you have adequate insurance coverage. Know your policy. Read it. Know what is and what is not covered. Make changes as needed. Ask questions. Keep numbers handy in case of an emergency.