With any luck, the prediction of heavy rainfall this winter by meteorologists will be accurate. While we certainly need the moisture, it makes home maintenance even more critical this fall to protect your home. Once you’ve completed your fall furnace maintenance, these suggestions will help your home weather the winter and minimize energy costs and home repairs.
- Inspect the roof. Look for problem areas with your shingles or roof tiles. Cracked, missing or torn roof materials let moisture penetrate into the roof deck, where it can cause a good deal of structural damage to the roof itself, the attic and the supporting structure.
- Clean the gutters. Removing dead vegetation from the gutters will clear them, helping the runoff leave the perimeter of your roof quickly. The downspouts should slope away from exterior to prevent water damage around the foundation.
- Check the windows as part of home maintenance. Small cracks between the window frames and your home’s exterior will let outdoor air enter your home, as well as moisture. Air infiltration raises your heating and cooling bill, and moisture collecting in the walls fosters mold growth that deteriorates the structural material, insulation and drywall. Sealing the cracks around the window frames with latex or acrylic caulk will stop moisture penetration and air infiltration.
- Test the fireplace damper. Although gas fireplaces are the norm in the North County, their dampers can still warp. If you feel a constant draft going up the chimney or street noise entering from the fireplace, use inflatable chimney balloons to provide a better seal between the firebox and the chimney. A leaky damper pulls conditioned air from your home constantly.
- Take care of the A/C outdoor condenser, especially if you use a heat pump. It will run more efficiently when it has plenty of air space around it and the coils are clean. Having a professional service the heat pump, test the refrigerant charge and thoroughly clean it will cut heating costs and increase its durability.
For more information about HVAC and home maintenance, contact Sherlock Plumbing, Heating & Air, providing top-notch services for North County homeowners.