The end of 2017 is almost upon us. Come December 31 at midnight, champagne will flow, Auld Lang Syne will play and you’ll toast to new beginnings.
With that comes resolutions. You vow to hit the gym five days a week, only to find yourself on the couch downing a bag of chips while watching a football game. You vow to spend less time staring at your phone, a great idea that goes out the window as soon as you open Instagram again.
But if you’re a homeowner, this is a great time to make some new year’s resolutions, and stick with them.
As we saw last year, winter in the Pacific Northwest can be an unpredictable beast. Sure, you know it’s going to rain, but you might not expect it to rain 100 days in a row (please don’t let that happen again). You know there’s a chance for snow and ice, but you don’t expect the region to be frozen over for two weeks.
Thus, it’s important to be prepared. With that in mind, the professionals here at Pro Paint Northwest present five new year’s resolutions for homeowners to ensure their abode is ready for the new year:
1. Make sure you have what you need
It’s late December, and the snow hits. It coats your street like a fluffy white blanket. Kids are out with their sleds. It’s beautiful. But then it comes time to shovel your driveway…and you realize you don’t have a snow shovel. You trek up to Target or Wal Mart to get one, and of course your fellow procrastinators have gotten there before you and cleaned them out, and now they’re on back order.
Don’t be the person left cursing the heavens in the middle of a store. Make sure you have equipment on hand before the weather hits: snow shovels, rock salt, an ice scraper for each car, flashlights and batteries in case the power goes out, even a supply of food and water if the weather makes it difficult to get out for a few days.
2. Check your gutters
Before the truly bad weather starts, and if it’s safe for you to do so, get up on a ladder and check out your gutters for yourself. Make sure they’re clean and clear and ready to absorb winter weather, and if there’s debris in them, clean them out as much as possible.
Even if the gutters look good, you need to check throughout the winter season. It can take just a couple days of wind and rain to have them be clogged and overflowing, and if we get hit by another ice storm they can freeze over and not flow at all. If you haven’t done anything with your gutters in a while, you might need a professional to come out and get them into good condition.
3. Clean the HVAC filters
This can be an easy one to forget. Sometimes you’re walking through the house, notice the temperature dropping a bit, so you turn the furnace on. But while it seems as easy as flipping a switch in your house, it’s actually an intensive process for the furnace to get there.
If you go too long without cleaning the filters, then the dust and dirt builds up and the furnace has to work that much harder to warm your home. And when it does that, you feel it in your checkbook at the end of the month.
In addition, it can be unhealthy for anyone with allergies, or the elderly or small children, to have any dirt or dust floating through the house as a result of dirty filters. Cleaning them is quick, easy and free, and can make a big difference both in your home’s performance and your pocketbook.
4. Keep the cold air and rain out
Your home is your castle, and you need to keep your enemies out – in this case cold air and rain. To begin with, make sure you have enough insulation in your attic – most experts suggest a minimum of six inches.
Check your doors – is there air coming through the spaces around the doorframe? That’s an area you might need to tighten up. You might also want to consider having a roofer come out – they can make sure there aren’t any trouble spots that cause expensive and damaging leaks in your house, and check the chimney flashing and other areas you may not know much about.
Once the outdoor elements make it into your house, it can cause expensive repair bills and damage your belongings.
You didn’t think we’d create a list like this and not include paint, did you? Your home’s paint job is the first layer of protection against the elements. If your home’s exterior paint is chipped or blistered, it can allow moisture directly onto your house, the first step towards the two words every homeowner dreads: “water damage”.
Take some time to inspect the condition of your home’s paint. The more damage you see to the paint, the more risk it poses to your home. If you notice issues, be sure to call Pro Paint Northwest to come take a look. We can assess the state of your home’s paint and let you know if it’s time for a new coat.
Remember, new year’s resolutions aren’t just unrealistic goals you’ll abandon within a week. You can take real action to preserve your home and save yourself a lot of money.