Fall into Winter Home Prep: 4 Tips to Keep Your Home Cozy, Healthy and Safe
Winter is coming…so take advantage of these last temperate days to winterize your home. Whether you do it yourself or hire a professional, you can avoid costly repairs during the winter months with the following tasks:
Check your attic.
Mold and poor indoor air quality issues often stem from your attic. Ever heard of the “Stack Effect?” It’s when heat and air rise to the highest point in a dwelling. Since houses naturally have to breathe, the air starts at the bottom and works its way up through the exterior walls into the attic. Ideally, this air should exit through gable vents or ridge vents. However, if those vents are blocked or inadequate, moisture and heat can build up in the attic creating the perfect environment for mold to grow.
Prior to the winter season, it’s essential to inspect your attic to ensure proper ventilation. If you happen to see mold, schedule a test with an independent testing company like RTK. They can determine the extent of the issue, and what, if anything, needs to be remediated.
Clean your gutters.
Prioritizing regular gutter maintenance is crucial, particularly before the onset of colder weather. This pre-emptive action serves as a vital defense against the formation of ice dams, a common winter woe. Ice dams occur when melted snow accumulates and subsequently freezes along the edges and eaves of your roof. This ice ridge then acts as a barricade, preventing the efficient drainage of water originating from the melting snow. With nowhere else to go, this water can infiltrate your home, causing significant harm to your walls, ceilings, and insulation. Unfortunately, where there’s water damage, mold is often not far behind.
Regardless of the season, clogged gutters, burdened with fallen leaves, have the potential to pull away from your home’s structure. This detachment can result in leaks that not only damage your residence but also foster the growth of mold.
Additionally, it’s essential to ensure that your downspouts are correctly angled away from your home, as this simple measure can effectively ward off basement leaks.
Check your roof for leaks.
You certainly don’t want to start your winter off with a leaky roof. Begin by inspecting your ceilings for any signs of trouble, such as water spots, mold, or stains. If you spot them, before you call in a roofer, have a professional mold inspector test your home for potential mold growth. This proactive step will provide you with a clear understanding of exactly what needs to be repaired or replaced so the mold doesn’t come back. You may have small stains or dark spots now, but once the heavy snow sets in, the problem could get much worse, and you could wind up with a full-blown mold infestation.
Set the thermostat.
It may seem incongruous to turn on the heat as it is still warm outside, but in a few months when the temperature drops below freezing, a heated house, even at 50 degrees, will prevent your pipes from freezing and keep your home dry through the winter. Most experts recommend keeping the thermostat between 60 and 68 degrees. The heat won’t kick in until the indoor temperature drops below the thermostat’s temperature setting. But, if you are concerned, you can subscribe to an Internet-based system with equipment that monitors the inside air temperature and alerts you to freezing temperatures.
To prepare for the impending winter, taking action now to safeguard your family’s well-being is of the utmost importance. The steps outlined above offer a comprehensive approach to ensure that your home remains safe and healthy during the colder months. Prioritizing these tasks not only shields your home from costly repairs but also ensures a healthier environment throughout the winter season. Your proactive approach today can make all the difference in the comfort and safety of your home tomorrow. Contact RTK today.