We all have lists of items that we need to get done for the holidays, from buying and wrapping gifts to baking cookies and sending cards. In the midst of the holiday rush, don’t neglect to do some basic repairs – or call in a trusted company experienced with home repairs – before the weather turns colder and company arrives at your door. Here are a few things you might want to cross off your list before the holiday rush:
- Seal it up. Caulking and/or applying silicone as needed around windows and doors is a quick and easy way to eliminate drafts, ensure your comfort, and save on energy bills before you turn on the heat. If you did this several years ago, it’s time to do this basic maintenance again, since caulk dries out and cracks as it ages.
- Seal them out. Who doesn’t love cute, fuzzy visitors? You won’t – if the visitors in question happen to be squirrels in your attic. Repair and seal any areas where siding has torn, any gaps in eaves, or open vents before the colder temperatures drive the critters into your home in search of warmth.
- Prevent water damage. Make certain that your home has proper gutters, downspouts and runoff pipes and that they have been cleared of fall leaves and debris to function well.
- Address existing water or structural issues. If you believe you have a water problem, consult a trusted, reputable contractor to have your crawl space checked. Moisture in crawl spaces can cause a whole host of issues, such as damage to hardwood floors, doors and even warped cabinets. Even dry weather can cause problems, since brick foundations are prone to drying, cracking or settling in the heat. The good news is that in many cases, issues can be cured with proper gutter placement to eliminate water run-in, fans, dehumidifiers and foundation vents to dry out the space, and helical piers to brace foundations.
- Tighten up. Now is the time to add more insulation to your attic or reposition shifting insulation that leaves areas of your home vulnerable to winter drafts.
- Open and shut case. Fluctuating temperatures make issues with windows and door more pronounced. Now is the time to have a professional repair any windowsill or trim damage, when it’s still warm enough for caulk and paint to dry efficiently. Don’t ignore red flags like a bedroom door that is binding. It can be normal swelling that is easily addressed, or it could be a warning sign that footings are shifting.
- Clear the fog. A foggy window may give you that nostalgic wintery look, but it’s often a sign of a serious problem. It could be a warning that your windows have lost the argon gas that helps insulate them. In many cases, we can replace the sashes, but if your home was built in the last 15-30 years, you’ll want to check your warranty first, because it may be a free or reduced-cost repair.
Taking these few simple steps now can make your home – and the people inside it – safer and warmer this holiday season.