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Key Maintenance - Tip #22

Mid-Winter Check List (sourced various websites)

1. Make sure snow is not piled against your house. In fact, ensure all snow banks are far away from your house. The last thing you want is that snow melting and trying to make its way into your house. Water is a sneaky little bastard, and will find any way it can to get into your house and wreak havoc.

2. Make sure your downspouts are clear and flowing. Also check your eaves troughs for icicles and ice damns. These can cause a lot of problems. If you are experiencing these issues, try to figure out why. Is your attic losing a lot of heat causing the snow on your roof to melt? You may need more attic insulation. Is your downspout in the shade and your roof in the sun? Often this can cause the snow on the roof to melt but your downspout in the cool shade to freeze. If this is the case, consider investing in a heat trace system for your gutters and downspouts.

3. Take a look at your roof and if you see any lifted shingles or missing flashing, call in a roofer ASAP.

4. Do you have backyard or garage drains? Make sure they are flowing properly; a frozen drain can cause a lot of flooding.

5. Is your backyard a lake? Nothing you can do now, but a new path and grading should be on the list for spring.

6. How's your furnace doing? Is it time to change the filter? Even if it isn't, do a quick inspection of your furnace and take a look at the filter. Your furnace has been working extra hard this winter and its filter may be fuller than it should. If that's the case replace your filter anyway as your furnace will work more energy efficiently.

7. Check your windows and skylights for condensation. Especially with the temperatures changing and the humidity fluctuating your house can get too humid and condensation can form on the windows which can lead to mold. If you do have some condensation make sure you pull your curtains back and let some sun hit the windows. Also remember to leave all the interior doors of your house open to better increase airflow.

8. During and after showering ensure your bathroom exhaust fan is on. Consider getting a fan with a timer so you can set the fan to stay on a half hour after you leave the bathroom. I would advise getting one that has a 30-minute setting, the 15 minute setting just isn’t long enough.

9. When cooking (especially when boiling water or reducing sauces) make sure your vent hood is on full blast to remove as much excess moisture as possible.

10. Do the animal check. Make sure no big (or little) furry friends have decided to camp anywhere in or near your house. Check the flashing near your roof and under decks or porches. Check your garage for signs of life, and do the smell test in your attic and basement (by smell test I mean see if it smells like animal pee/poop)

Need help? - Schedule a call with a My Home Expert team member- click here. Your house (and your wallet) will thank you for it in the spring.

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