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Winter Home Maintenance Tips

January 16, 2015

You saved for months, possibly years, to buy your home. The winter season in Cleveland can wreak havoc on your house. Here, at Keystone Home Inspection, we want to help you protect your investment. So we provided our customers with a list of some winter home maintenance tips to get your house winter ready.

  1. Check attic and basement for moisture damage. Water damage inside your attic can lead not only to major roof damage but could even lead to a roof collapse! In the basement, water damage can cause mold growth and costly damage to a finished basement. Make certain that you have the proper amount of insulation to keep the foundations of your home strong, so they can last for years to come.
  2. Have heating system inspected and cleaned. You don't want to find yourself in the middle of one of our Cleveland Artic freezes without heat. So have your heating system inspected or serviced by a licensed contractor each year. Clean or replace your furnace filter. To prevent chimney fires, have your chimney cleaned and checked by a licensed contractor.
  3. Inspect, repair, replace safety devices. Winter season can see an increase in house fires. So, it's important to make sure that your safety devices are operating properly. Test and replace batteries in your smoke detectors, fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
  4. Inspect your roof. While removing leaves and debris from your gutters, now is a great time to inspect your roof. Damaged shingles and worn-out seals around your chimney or pipes are easier to fix when caught early. 
  5. Inspect your driveway. Cracks in your driveway if not repaired, can lead to a costly replacement down the road. Inspect your driveway and clean out any cracks. Repair them by filling them with an approved driveway filler. Then apply a coat of commercial sealer to protect your driveway through the winter season.
  6. Protect your water pipes. Busted water pipes are a total nightmare. The cleanup from this disaster is expensive and exhausting. So we encourage our fellow homeowners to check for water leaks and fix them immediately. Be certain that you learn how to shut off your water. Shutting off outside valves can help to prevent water trapped in pipes from freezing and subsequently bursting. If you have water pipes that run through garages, crawl spaces or attics, make certain to wrap them in UL-listed heat tape and insulation. Doing this small step, will not only save you on your utility bills but will prevent any pipes exposed in exterior walls from freezing and bursting.

If you take care to follow these tips it will save you a lot of money by warding off major repairs down the line. These small steps can go a long way to protect your home and keep its curb appeal. Please do not ignore or put off repairable problems. As a professional home inspector for Keystone Home Inspection I have seen what might have started off as an easily fixable problem, blossom, into a very expensive large problem because the homeowner didn't take the time to do a little maintenance. While we tried to include a few helpful tips, we couldn't cover everything. If you have any doubts about what damage to look for around your home, or what areas to focus on in your home, feel free to contact us or schedule a home inspection.

If you follow these tips, you and your family will be in for a safe winter, and a great home for years to come.

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