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Columbus & Central Ohio, United States
DeLena Ciamacco is a well-known, respected Top Producing Realtor in Central Ohio. Her myriad of accomplishments, recognition, and professional credentials as they relate to Real Estate, make her a perfect individual to provide insight to the masses on all aspects of Real Estate sales. Her creativity and honest approach to marketing Real Estate has enabled her to succeed in her career. DeLena’s philosophy is “An educated and well prepared Buyer or Seller is a smart Buyer or Seller”. Her desire is to inform the public, by pulling from her 20+ years of Real Estate sales & Marketing, what is necessary to get to a successful closing in these challenging times.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Getting Your Home Ready For Winter

While this fall has been mild and enjoyable for the most part, winter is right around the corner, and with it a number of problems that can plague home owners who are not prepared for it. To help you get ready for all of the ice, snow, and possible headaches on the way this winter in Ohio, here’s some ideas on weather-proofing your home this season. 

Top to Bottom Cleaning

Fall and Spring are prime times to give your house a once over, and you’ll be glad you did when that cold weather hits. This is a great time to turn over your mattress and wash every little bit of bedding you own; think of how nice that will be when you’re all snuggled up in it come December or January. A lot of people take this time to have their carpets professionally cleaned, so that all of that residue left over from the summer months is up and out of your house. Something else you should consider vacuuming is your window treatments, drapes, or any upholstered furniture that could be collecting dust or allergens from when you had the windows open a few months before. The windows themselves could also probably use a good solid cleaning as well, with special attention to the inside sills as well. Lastly, check out what’s going on behind your refrigerator; condenser coils can collect a ton of dust, and you’ll want to check for any potential leaking depending on your model. 

Access your Mess 

One of the best things you can do as a home owner is to be aware of just what is going on in every room and corner of your house. This is a great time to simply walk your property and access what is going on, or what could become a problem in the coming months. A good place to start is in your attic or basement, where insufficient insulating or sealing can cost you tons of money during the winter. A lot of home owners can take advantage of weatherization rebates for insulating their house, so it might be a good idea to look into it for your attic. Houses can lose a huge percent of their heat through poorly insulated attics and top floors, so make sure you’re covered before you’re stuck with a huge heating bill. Basements need to have the rim joist area air-sealed at the bare minimum to prevent heat loss. 

Another important area to check that is often overlooked are the baseboards of your home, which can present signs of water damage and be an entry point for nasty critters looking for a place to stay in the winter months; making sure these areas are properly sealed will save you a lot of potential stress. Obviously you’ll also want to check all doors and windows for potential drafts that you can weather strip as well. While you’re at it, also check on your washing machine hoses for bulges or cracks, and make sure your dryer exhaust tube is in working order. You’ll also want to take a peek at the dryer vent too; make sure there is no excess lint, debris, or even old bird’s nests stuck in there. Last but definitely not least, check those fire and carbon monoxide detectors and make sure their batteries work. If you don’t have one or the other installed in your home, drop what you’re doing RIGHT NOW and get one! Fall can be a dangerous time for both home fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Great Outdoors

Although your actual house will be your main concern come winter, don’t overlook your yard and surrounding property. Now is the time to gather up any summer furniture or equipment and get it inside or into storage to prevent damage from ice and precipitation. You’ll also want to drain and store any garden hoses, install insulating on exterior spigots, and blow any water out of your sprinkler systems to prevent freezing. All lawn equipment that relies on gas should be drained before being stored for the winter as well. 

The number one home maintenance project undertaken during the fall is the annual cleaning of the gutters and for good reason too. Clogged up gutters can lead to standing water, which will freeze during the winter and cause substantial damage to your roof, or even ruin it altogether. Make sure that it is clear of all leaves and debris before it gets too cold. While you’re up there, it might also be a good idea to replace any worn tiles or shingles you find. To further protect your roof or any power lines in the area, prune back any tree limbs that seem too close. Branches can get overloaded with snow and ice and collapse under the weight, causing major damage to whatever happens to be beneath them. And finally, make sure all driveways, brick patios, and decks are sealed and weather prepped. 

Hot & Cold

Now that everything else has been taken care of, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty: your heating system. No matter what kind of system you rely on (furnace, wood stove, boiler, heat pump, ect.) it’s a good idea to have it completely serviced. If you do have a furnace, now is the time to change the filter for the season and make sure you have some replacements on hand. For homes with fireplaces, you’ll want to check up on it and see how the flue is doing. If it’s wood burning, you might want to clean it as well. While you’re checking your roof and gutters, check out the chimney and see if it’s sustained any damage in the previous year. Another good idea is installing a cap or a screen at the top of the chimney for the season. While we’re worrying about the heating system, don’t neglect your cooling system; have the air ducts cleaned as well. You may also want to cover your air conditioning unit to protect from ice and snow. Taking these steps now will ensure your air cooling system will be ready to go when spring rolls around in a few months. 

These tips are a great start to preparing your home for the winter weather that’s sure to hit in the coming weeks, but remember that you know your house better than anyone, and will probably have even more ideas to making the most of December, January, and February. Trust your instincts; if you think something might not make it through the winter, fix or replace it now to avoid distress later. You’ll be glad when you’re bundled up, safe and cozy with your family at home.

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