It might still be sunny, but winter is fast approaching—making now the perfect time to start planning for winterizing your home. Here’s a handy checklist to help ensure your home is ready for the change in seasons. Begin by taking a good look at the exterior of your home, paying close attention to the roof, gutters, downspouts, grading and windows. These fixtures all require a little extra TLC before the cold weather hits.
The burden of cold weather abuse is largely absorbed by your roof. The weight of accumulated snow and ice can be astronomical, freezing and thawing causes movement, and windy conditions can lift and tear at roofs. Typically, checking your roof requires perilously climbing that shaky ladder that’s been rusting away in your crawlspace. Thanks to Fichtner Services, there’s no need to put yourself through this dangerous exertion any longer. Our experts will clean off leaves and branches, trim overhanging tree limbs, and inspect for bulges, worn spots, or split seams that could lead to leaks during the winter months. Call today to get signed up for our Full Roof and Gutter Service before it’s too late!
GUTTERS & DOWNSPOUTS
The importance of free-flowing, leak-free gutters can’t be over-emphasized—they are integral to the overall health of the house, particularly the basement or crawlspace. If your eavestroughs can’t handle the rain or melting snow and ice, the ground will become soaked. If the ground is soaked around your house’s foundation, there is a substantially higher risk of a leaky basement—something you’ll undoubtedly want to avoid; especially in the winter! You can rest assured that the Fichtner experts will ensure you avoid this headache. With the expansion and contraction of aluminum gutters, debris clogging them up and weighing them down, it is important to have your gutters cleaned, tightened up and sealed at joints. We specialize in optimizing your gutters and downspouts to handle even the most torrential downpours—leaving you nice and dry all year long.
WINDOWS & DOORS
When the temperatures dip below freezing, there’s nothing worse for your comfort—not to mention your energy bill—than a drafty house. Checking you windows inside and out is an often-overlooked step in cutting down on the draftiness of your house. On the inside, and this might sound obvious, but check to make sure the windows are shut and locked all the way! I know at my house we like to open the windows in the fall for that fresh air. But sometimes when cool days turn to cold nights we just close the sash for the evening without locking it because we’re planning to open it the next day. Pretty soon it is too cold in the daytime as well and we’ve forgotten to LOCK the window tight. When the latch to that window is engaged, it completes the work for you in compressing that weather stripping and keeping the draft away. On the outside, make sure the caulk seals at the wall surface, such as siding or brick, to the window trim is nice and tight. If it is cracked or pulled away leaving a gap then you should re-caulk prior to the cold weather. This will prevent water intrusion that will later expand and contract in the freezing temperatures making the problem worse
For your doors, if your doors or storm door jiggles or doesn’t shut firmly, you’re losing that important seal to the outside. Storm doors have an insulating pocket of air between it and the exterior door so make sure those are tight. Most storm doors have an adjustable strike plate—the metal tab with a hole in it that’s mounted on the jamb—and simply moving it up or down a fraction of an inch can keep the door from blowing off its hinges in a strong gust of wind. You’ll also want to take a look at your door sweeps—the long metal or rubber extensions that are nailed on to close the gap between the bottom of the door and the flooring—and make sure they are installed correctly on basement and attic entries as well as on exterior doors. Don’t take a chance of missing a gap—here at Fichtner Services, we pride ourselves in our attention to detail, outstanding customer service, and affordable pricing. Stop in or give us a call today to make sure your home is in tip-top shape for the coming winter.
ATTIC ACCESS & CEILING PENETRATIONS
The exchange of conditioned inside air with unconditioned outside air, whether summer or winter, is a constant source of energy loss and can cause serious condensation problems. One of the best things you can do to cut down on it is to re-insulate your attic above the ceiling and make sure the access hatch and holes through the ceiling (light fixtures, fans) are properly sealed or capped off in the attic. A plywood cover over the hatch with insulation adhered to it is a quick fix but there are also pre-made access covers that do a nice job of covering a set of dropdown stairs. Check the fans and light fixtures up close and seal gaps you might find with caulk. From inside the attic, if you can see exposed and uninsulated can lights, fans and other penetrations, then they should be safely covered up with pre-made insulated covers that won’t cause a fire. Taking these steps will pay dividends in the coming winters and summers!