Time for a home checkup to avoid costly repairs and problems during the season's coldest and snowiest months!
Statistically speaking, January and February are usually Northeast Ohio's coldest and snowiest months with snow often continuing into April. In fact, according to a recent article in cleveland.com, Northeast Ohio has still has snow on the ground in April four of the five last winters (with the exception of 2014).
Extended periods of harsh winter can wreak havoc on a home and the household budget, especially if you haven't taken the necessary precautions or undertaken suggestive preventive maintenance.
Here are a few reminders of what items in your home may require a little extra attention as we enter what can be winter's most challenging (and expensive) time as a result of frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall:
is likely working overtime this time of year. If you didn't have it checked before the onset of winter, you may want to schedule a service call so you don't wind up with a major unexpected repair right when you need your furnace the most.
Same goes for your fireplace and chimney
which may be getting more of a workout. Check that there are no cracks in the chimney or debris buildup, such as leaves, which can create a fire hazard.
Speaking of fire, now would be a good time to check batteries in smoke alarms
if you didn't do so in the fall, especially since you're likely spending more time indoors with the furnace and possibly the fireplace running at peak capacity.
are susceptible to freezing when the temperatures dip for extended periods of time. It's wise to take time to insulate your pipes, especially those that are near windows, doors or unheated areas of the home.
Between rain and melting now, your sump pump
may also be working harder than normal. To check that it's operating efficiently, slowly pour a few gallons of water into the pot to activate the pump.
are also more likely to be slippery as a result of snow and ice. Remember to place heavy duty mats by all exterior doorways to help prevent slips and falls that could lead to injuries.
Winter storms can sometimes cause power outages, so be sure to be prepared with a kerosene heater, flashlights and candles. Extended power outages may also create the need for bottled water and non-perishable food, depending on where you live.
In addition to these preventative tips, keep in mind that some home repairs and renovation projects can be less expensive to complete during the winter, which is typically the off-season for many contractors. To avoid the rush and inflated prices, consider scheduling air conditioning tune ups and smaller roof repairs during the colder months. You may also discover pricing incentives for replacing flooring and carpeting this time of year.
Despite your best precautionary efforts, if you have an unexpected home repair or renovation project that exceeds your budget constraints, you may want to consider a home equity loan or line of credit. Rates for these types of financing may be lower than other forms of consumer credit.
The information and recommendations contained herein is compiled from sources deemed reliable but is not represented to be accurate or complete. In providing this information, neither Cortland Bank or its affiliates are acting as your agent or is offering you any tax, accounting or legal advice.