We all have had too much experience staying home in the last year. We have gotten used to doing outdoor activities again. But colder weather is on its way. It’s time to do our outdoor preparedness investigations.
As you may or not be aware there are building material shortages across the board. From specialty colored roofing asphalt shingles having a year waiting list. To plywood being upwards of $50 dollars a sheet. To a lack of pressured treated lumber just being available to buy at any cost. And don’t get us started on the lack of skilled employees preferring unemployment to work. Now is the time to address these issues. It may be months before a reputable contractor will have the supplies ready to do your project.t.
Water in its many forms is the enemy of our homes. After last year's ice damage, it’s time to inspect your gutters and schedule them for repair before this year's cold attacks. Check the valleys in your roof. See that the flashing (the coating put over the shinges around the perturbances in the roof, like vents and chimneys) is in good shape. On a cloudy or rainy day get into your attic space so you can see under your roof. Look for light or water coming in. You should see light in the eaves (lower part of the roof) but not around any tube in the main body of the roof. Even if you bought 30-year shingles you may need a new roof if it’s over 15 years old. Certainly, you will want an expert to fix any issues before hurricanes and snow get here. The good service workers are very busy right now. You need to get onto their schedules ASAP.
The gutters need to have leads, which leads the water away from the foundation of your home. That’s the pipes coming down from the gutters. Make sure they are attached and that the water is leaving the house. You do not want the water running down the side of the foundation. Remember the Delaware water gap was created by flowing water! Most times you can do this repair yourself but you might need to hire a professional if they are not attached at the gutters. Let them climb the ladders. Gutter guards are good at keeping leaves and stuff from clogging the gutters but they can actually add to ice damming problems. If you had problems this last year it might be worth calling a professional for advice on how to keep it from happening again.
Do you get pooling during rainstorms? Puddles can be fun for the kids but not so much for the house. You may need to have the area re-pitched. This could be a landscaping or pavement issue. Either way you need to have the water drain away from your house.
Windows and doors need to seal well to keep the heat in or the heat out depending on the season. Have a good look at all of them. Are there cracks? Do they seal closed? Is the glass loose? Are they more than 15 years old? It might be time to replace them. And it may take a while to get the replacements in house.
Have you had your boiler or furnace serviced yet to prepare for the cold? If not it’s time to call to schedule a cleaning. Before trying to turn it on and not getting heat. Also maybe take advantage of the current lower oil prices and fill up. This will save you money now and later.
There are a multiple cliches that all address being prepared and forewarned is forearmed and a penny now instead of a dollar later. They are cliches because they are true. Preventive care is always cheaper than emergency care.
Time to be prepared for the cold is now. No one is saying that the change in the climate is going to make North Jersey not get cold and wet in the coming months. This we can all agree upon. So look out for your exterior so your interior stays warm, dry & cozy!