In the past two articles (part 1 and part 2) we have looked at 5 exterior and 5 interior winter “to dos”. In today’s edition, part 3, we will look at another 5 exterior tasks to tackle to complete the exterior checklist. Again, these are simple things to check, however, you may need a professional to help you with repairs.
Taking a look over your siding should not take you a lot of time. You may want to get those binoculars out for this task as well if you have a two story or higher elevations of your home covered in siding. You want to be looking for loose siding or cracked, chipped or broken siding. Siding that is cracked, chipped or broken should be repaired to ensure that water does not leak through. If you are looking for new siding, be aware that there is insulated siding available which can help increase the energy efficiency of your home.
Test Your Sump Pump
A sump pump is a crucial piece of equipment in your home. It is important to check your sump pump periodically to make sure it is working properly. Remove the cover and slowly pour water into the sump pump tank. Watch for the float to rise and activate the pump. Once the pump is working, the water level should quickly settle back down and the pump should shut off. On the exterior of your home, make sure that the water from the sump pump is diverted away from your home.
Check Your Trees
Winter snow and ice can occur quickly in the winter months. Heavy snow and ice can cause tree limbs to come down in a flash. Take a stroll through your yard, looking for potential limbs that might appear to be dead, rotten or infested. This is another task that the binoculars could be used for as well. If you are unsure, make sure to call your local tree service to come out. Better that than a midwinter unexpected repair.
As previously discussed in Part 1, it is important to clean your gutters so that water flows through the gutters to the downspouts freely. Now that the water is coming down the downspouts as it should, we now want to make sure it does not go directly down along the foundation of your home. Make sure that the water is being diverted 3 to 4 feet away from your homes foundation. The use of a downspout extension which are sold in many home improvement stores should help achieve these results.
Don’t wait until the last minute to get going on these tasks! An emergency repair is much more costly than an ounce of prevention. While your at it, check out your shovel and snow blower to make sure they are both in good working condition and that you have plenty of ice melt to keep your walkways safe.
Now that we have covered the outside, part 4 tomorrow will finish the inside!