Before the first snow falls, it is wise to do some routine maintenance to get the house ready for cold weather. Caulking and placing weather stripping along the edges of doors and windows will keep the family warmer and reduce utility bills. Drafts make a big difference in how hard the heating system needs to work to keep the house at a consistent temperature. This easy step is a must.
Have the Roof Inspected
Call a professional roofer to inspect the roof. If there are any repairs or roof maintenance that need to be completed, get the work done before winter. Freezing and thawing will create more damage and turn minor repairs into major problems by spring. It is possible the roof may need to be replaced before the snow arrives. Discuss options with the contractor. Reroofing may be feasible which is a more cost-effective solution than tearing off the old roof and replacing the entire surface.
Clean out the gutters to make sure there is no debris to clog up and impede the flow of melting snow, heavy rains, or sleet and hail. Double check that downspouts are secure, and that water is directed away from the foundation. Puddling and freezing of excess water will create space between the soil and the foundation. That will result in cracks in the foundation and water leaking into the basement.
The ease at which air moves through the whole house will keep the temperature consistent and avoid cold spots in the halls, stairways, and second story rooms. This preparation will take homeowners from the basement to the attic. Replace the furnace filter for maximum operating efficiency. If the filter becomes dirty or clogged, air circulation will slow down drastically and the heat will not be felt at full force.
Next, go up to the attic and check to make sure the vents there are clear. Clogged attic vents will result in heated air being trapped in the home. This will cause the insulation to become moist and mold quickly. The situation can go unnoticed for months, and by then the air quality in the whole house is poor. What may be mistaken for a simple cold among the family may actually be respiratory distress.