A few bucks’ worth of prevention can stave off thousands of dollars in repairs. That’s true with a lot of things—such as maintaining your health or your car—but today’s post focuses on the stuff homeowners can do to prepare for winter.
Here’s what I scheduled this week:
A chimney cleaning. A chimney fire when I was a kid really put the fear of creosote in me, so we have this done annually.
A furnace inspection. We’re on a maintenance agreement that includes two annual visits. It’s helped us get a few more years out of our aging system, but I suspect we’ll be looking at a replacement soon–perhaps in time to take advantage of expiring energy tax breaks.
A gutter cleaning. We usually do this ourselves, but I’d strongly advise hiring somebody if you’ve got a home that’s more than one story, mobility challenges or a fear of heights. As I’ve mentioned here before, I’ve lost two members of my extended family to falls, and there’s no home improvement savings that’s worth your life.
A roof repair. Some flashing around our chimney needs to be replaced, and the mortar is crumbling in a couple of spots. This is a classic home maintenance issue that could easily be ignored, and turn into a far more expensive fix down the road.
It’s also a good time to take a walk around your home, looking for any potential problems such as peeling paint, poor drainage and signs of bug or rodent infestations. Schedule fixes for any problems you find.