Old man winter is making his way to many parts of the country once again. Soon, he’ll be knocking on our doors, ready to unleash all he’s got. Snow, ice, wind, freezing temperatures, and sloppy conditions will be a part of life for the next several months. We must prepare our homes for the ravages that the season can bring.
We’ll all be spending a lot of time indoors, so we need to take steps to ensure our shelter from the storms is cozy, healthy, and safe. The best way to do this is to be proactive. Have your systems inspected, get rid of hazardous conditions, and make sure everything is in good working order before winter arrives. We’ve compiled this helpful guide for all your winter home repair solutions to battle the blustery weather and have a happy hibernation.
1. Garage Door Company
The garage door is probably the largest moving object on your property. It’s constantly used and out in the elements. Yet it’s not something we pay much attention to maintenance-wise, until something goes wrong. As winter approaches, it’s vital to put the garage door on your list of home repair solutions before winter is in full swing.
The last thing you need is for a storm to hit, and you can’t get to the snowblower or shovels because the garage door won’t open. It can also become a logistical nightmare if your town makes you get your car off the street during snow storms, and you can’t because you didn’t fix the garage door back in October. Garage doors have many parts, including springs, tracks, nuts, bolts, and cables that take a beating year-round. Winter weather affects these parts as the cold can cause expansion and shrinkage.
Doors are also more likely to warp in the winter. The best thing you can do is call a company that specializes in residential garage door repairs. They can inspect your door and give you an estimate on any repairs needed or garage door replacements. You may also want to consider winterizing the door by replacing or installing weather stripping and sealing cracks and holes. These simple home care solutions can keep the door in good shape, prevent drafts, and lower energy bills.
2. HVAC Company
One of the best proactive home repair solutions as winter approaches is to schedule an HVAC inspection. Make sure you have any needed furnace repair service performed as well. A cold house is not only uncomfortable, but it can lead to frozen pipes, septic issues, and other problems that can be costly and messy.
A heating and air conditioning specialist will give your home a thorough check-up to ensure you are in good shape all winter. The technician will check the air filters and change them as needed. Clean air filters improve the home’s air quality and help heating units perform more effectively. The HVAC specialist will also conduct furnace maintenance, including cleaning the unit of soot.
They will check for cracks and holes between the furnace and chimney. Often, the spaces allow moisture in and can keep the unit from adequately warming your home. Be sure to tell the technician if the heat is up, but it’s still chilly. This may mean that the thermostat needs to be reset or replaced. The technician will ensure all fans, compressors, and connections are clean, secure, and in good working order. If you have outdoor units, they will clear them of any debris and winterize them.
3. Roof Company
While roof repairs and other home repair solutions can be done in the winter, it depends on the conditions. Not many roof contractors are going up on your roof when it’s full of snow and ice. So, it’s best to get your roofing services in before the first frost. It’s vital not to ignore your roof and visible signs of damage like curled, missing or cracked shingles.
You don’t want to wait until you feel water dripping on your head while lying in bed one night. A leaky roof can not only cause damage to your walls, floors, and furniture, but it can affect the electrical system, drywall, and HVAC systems. Moisture from a leaky roof can cause mold and mildew that can lead to health problems in your family and pets, so roof maintenance is one of the top home care solutions you can do before winter.
A roofing specialist will be able to inspect your roof properly for damage. They’ll also check your gutters and attic for debris and proper airflow. The roofing contractor will provide you with an estimate for any repairs. More often than not, roof repairs are not that involved or expensive, so it’s a good idea to get them done as soon as possible. Putting it off will only cause more significant, more costly problems later on.
As with any contractor, don’t be afraid to ask questions regarding any home repair solutions. For instance, if the roofer suggests replacing some shingles and applying a sealant, ask how long the chemical will take to dry. Will the cold weather and moisture affect the process? The answers could help you decide to get the repairs done quicker.
One thing you can do to help keep your roof in good shape is to keep it free of debris. Clean the gutters and downspouts regularly and check for rodent and insect infestations. If you’re not comfortable doing this yourself, some companies will gladly do it for you.
Your home’s electrical system probably isn’t the first thing you think of when prepping your home for winter. But think about it: most of us are indoors more, and there’s less natural light. So we’re using more electricity than at other times of the year.
You may cook more using electric stoves, crockpots, air fryers, etc. Everyone is using more electronics like televisions, phones, and tablets. Let’s not forget the holiday lights! All these things can put a strain on your electrical system.
It’s common for outlets and circuits to be overloaded and not function correctly during this time of year. Then, there’s the wind, ice, and moisture that can add to the wear and tear of your electrical system and outdoor wiring. Home repair solutions for electricity offer two paths you can take.
First, you can call the electric company. They will often come out and do a point-by-point inspection of significant areas around your home. They’ll check for loose and degraded power lines and check your circuit box and breakers, ensuring they’re up to code and working properly. They can tell you if your outlets are working correctly and are not overloaded.
The electric company won’t do the work for you (unless it’s their equipment), but it’s an excellent place to start finding out if you need upgrades or repairs. Your next option is to call an electrician. They can perform a thorough low-cost inspection and give you a list of recommended repairs and upgrades. Feel free to get a few estimates, but don’t put off repairs.
Things like loose wiring, outdated outlets, and circuit breakers can cause power outages, electrical hazards, and even fires. Some things you can do to make your electricity flow better include unplugging all appliances when not in use. This will reduce usage, ensuring the system won’t be overwhelmed and save money simultaneously. Also, know where your electrical box is and learn how to trip the breakers in case a fuse is blown.
5. Tree Removal Company
Imagine there’s a terrible winter storm outside your home. The wind is whipping, the snow is piling up, and ice is forming everywhere. But you and your family are toasty warm, enjoying a movie and cocoa, that is, until a tree comes crashing through your new roof and takes out the newly upgraded electrical system. Your silent night has now turned into a nightmare.
This danger could also take out your car or a neighbor’s property. The good news is this can all be avoided with some proactive measures and home repair solutions. If you’ve got a dead or decaying tree on your property, one of the most cost-effective home solutions is to call a local tree removal service before winter hits. A professional can survey the tree and provide you with an estimate on removing it.
While tree removal is not cheap, it’s much more affordable than replacing a roof and windows. Not to mention, you’re helping ensure the safety of your family, neighbors, and pedestrians in the area. If your trees are healthy, you’ll still want to consider getting them trimmed and pruned before the cold sets in. It will significantly cut down on branches caving under the pressure of snow and ice.
6. Septic Tank Company
A septic tank is an on-site system that treats household sewage. The tank is typically buried in the backyard of a home. This system treats all waste that exits, sinks, showers, and toilets instead of a sewer system that takes the waste directly to a treatment facility. You must schedule a septic tank inspection each year.
The fall is an excellent time for this, as waiting until winter can make the inspection process quite tricky. Most septic tanks need to be cleaned and pumped out every three years. However, if you have a garbage disposal system, it’s recommended that you call professionals each year. The grease and oil from disposal builds up quickly and can clog the drainage system.
The process is relatively easy for professionals to come and use septic tank pumpers to clear out the tank. Proper maintenance is vital to avoid wintertime emergencies. An inspection can uncover leaks and cracks in the tank and connected pipes. They’ll be able to seal or replace anything that is degraded. Not only will this keep your indoor plumbing working efficiently, it will keep the system from backing up and creating a smelly mess in your yard.
Most importantly, it will prevent dangerous bacteria and viruses from entering your home and affecting your family’s health. Some signs you need to call a septic tank professional include a rotten egg smell, weird sounds when using the plumbing, and slow drains. Some tips for winterizing your septic tank are to lay mulch around the area of the tank and to allow the grass to grow around it before winter. These things can help insulate the area and keep the pipes from freezing.
7. Asbestos Inspection Company
One of the best home repair solutions you can do for your family’s health is to schedule a professional asbestos inspection. Asbestos is a natural fiber that contains silicone crystals. It was used for decades to insulate the attics, walls, and pipes of homes and other buildings. This material is highly airborne and can easily be inhaled.
The fibers and crystals are a major health hazard that can cause significant lung damage and cancer. The extent of asbestos’ effect on the human body was not known until the 1970s. If you live in a home built before the 1980s, you could be living with asbestos. There’s no need to panic if the asbestos has been left undisturbed.
It’s at its most dangerous when something is being done to shake up the area in which it’s installed. Since winter brings with it the search for holiday decor in the attic, the hanging of lights on the roof, and possible roof repairs, it’s crucial to call in a professional asbestos inspector to check all the nooks and crannies of the attic and basement, along with your pipes and insulation.
If asbestos is found, they can help you decide whether to leave it alone or have it removed. Should you choose to remove it, you’ll probably need to leave the house during that time. The asbestos remediation team will have special equipment like tents and shop vacuums with HEPA filters. They will ensure that the area is wet to prevent particles from becoming airborne and will dispose of the material properly.
Winter can bring with it some brutal conditions. Making sure your home is in tip-top condition with home repair solutions can help you and your family make it through toasty and safe. Calling the companies above can help you do that.