BEST CHOICE "Home Inspections"
Home Inspections in Alexandria, Dumfries, Fairfax, Fauquier, Fredericksburg, Manassas, Stafford, Warrenton, and Woodbridge


Is Your Home Ready For The Fall Season?

The Fall Season is almost here, and it is time to get your home ready for the cold weather that will soon be following. Here is a breakdown of steps (most of which you can do for yourself), that will help in lowering your utility bills, and in maintaining the homes health, and ultimately its precious value.  

Have your heating system serviced each fall. ..By acting now, you’ll find that many Heating & Air Conditioning Companies are offering discounts that will continue to rise as we continue getting closer and closer to the colder weather, not to mention the longer waiting lines that lie ahead if you wait. For just a few dollars, these companies will inspect your furnace or heat pump to ensure the system is clean and functioning to its maximum efficiency. And as a bonus they will also be measuring for carbon monoxide leakage, working to ensure that your family has a safe and enjoyable winter months.

1 - Turn all ceiling fans to reverse, as this action will serve to push all the heat back down in your rooms, thereby keeping your home warmer, and your heating system running less, and probably at lower thermostat settings. Do you like saving money???

2 - Caulk around your windows and doors… Even the tiniest of openings (usually if found to be more than the width of a quarter) between your windows and exterior doors can dramatically affect the efficiency of keeping the warmth inside your home. Add weather-stripping as needed, ensuring that you cannot see daylight from inside your home.

3 - Clean your guttering system… If your gutters are full of leaves and debris, water can back up against the house proper and damage the roofing, siding and wood trim, and it can also cause leaks and ice dams. Also look for missing or damaged gutters and fascia boards and repair them for maximum protection against the winter cold and ice.


4 - If needed, add extensions to downspouts, ensuring that water runs at least 3 to 4 feet away from the foundation.


 5 - If you noticed lots of ice or icicles hanging from your roof or guttering’s last winter, or if you experienced ice dams, which can cause melting water to back up and flow into your house, take steps to prevent potential damage this year, such as hiring a winterization professional or home- energy auditor who can find and fix such things as air leaks or inadequate insulation problems in your homes attic, that are generally the cause of such problems.


6 - Don’t forget to check your roof, either by walking the roof or scanning the roof with a pair of binoculars. Look for loose or damaged shingle and flashings that may leak from the winter’s storms or melting snow and ice. Loose and damaged shingle and flashings that are taking in moisture can lead to rotted wood or worse, mold contamination.

 7 - Drain and winterize all exterior hose bibs, and start by disconnecting garden hoses, which allows the water to properly drain free from the exterior faucets.


8 - Drain Your Lawn-Irrigation System… Draining sprinkler-system pipes will help avoid freezing and leaks.


9 - Have your chimney flue cleaned… Before lighting the fireplace, make sure your fireplace (or any heating appliance burning gas, oil, wood or coal), chimney and vents are clean and in good condition. This will prevent chimney fires and prevent carbon monoxide from creeping into your home.


10 - Be sure to test your sump pump… Slowly pour several gallons of water into the sump pit to see whether the pump turns on, and also whether the drainage from the sump pump discharge line is draining properly away from your home.


Follow this Wintertime Guide and you will go a long way in protecting your home, your health, and your hard earned money through the coming winter months.  If there are any questions, please don’t hesitate to give BESTCHOICE a call at 540-898-8188, and we’ll be happy to help in any way we can. 

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