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Winter is here, and preparing your home for colder temperatures is on every homeowner’s checklist. Your home is an investment, and as a homeowner, you are responsible for the upkeep and taking care of the small things before they become big problems. Our technicians at American Restoration Water & Fire have some professional tips to help keep your energy bills lower and protect your investment to help properly prepare your home for winter.

  • Insulate/Seal Windows: Reducing drafts in your home can help reduce your energy bills by up to 20%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
    • V-Seal Weather Stripping: This can be installed around the stashes to help prevent cold drafts along with the window areas and any gaps.
    • Rope Caulk: This can be used to fill gaps, and because it’s flexible, it can be removed easily as the weather heats up.
    • Draft Snake: This is a foam material to be cut down to fit under your door or window, and it is covered with a machine-washable fabric that slides over it.
  • Trim Tree Branches: Winter storms bring strong winds, and long branches over your home can break and cause unnecessary damage. If you aren’t comfortable doing this yourself, you can hire a tree-trimming company. American Restoration recommends that all tree branches are cut back at least three feet from your home.
  • Inspect Your Fireplace: Visual intentional inspections allow for you to see any potential problems before starting your wood-burning fireplace. 
  • Inside Inspection:
    • Flue dampers are open.
    • No combustible materials such as nests or any foreign objects.
    • There are no cracks in the brick, mortar, firebox, or hearth.
  • Outside Inspection:
    • The chimney cap is still in good condition.
    • No debris such as a bird’s nest is blocking access.
    • No broken off or overhanging tree branches near the opening.
    • No bricks or mortar are missing.
    • The chimney crown is beveled; this helps airflow.
    • The flue liner is visible.
  • Gas Fireplace Inspection:
    • Check the glass for any cracks or latch anomalies.
    • Once ignited, you can check for burner holes for any clogs. You can clear these with a pin or needle.
  • Check Your Roof: A visible check of your roof once a year allows you to note any damage that may not have been there previously. If heights are a problem, you can call a roofing company and check if they can inspect your roof for you! Things to look for are:
    •  Buckling, cracked, or buckling of shingles.

American Restoration Water & Fire knows all too well what can happen when a small problem is overlooked too long, and then our restoration team is called in! Your home is your investment, and these steps to help prepare your home for winter don’t take too much time, and they help the homeowner get more familiar and comfortable with their home and when things begin to change. If your home experiences any water or fire damage this winter, our team is ready to help in any way, we can!