“There is no short cut to achievement, life requires thorough preparation – veneer isn’t worth anything”
-George Washington Carver.
Well said Mr. Carver.
For all you homeowners, renters and those with enough forethought to consider the future; preparation is essential. I am specifically thinking of preventative measures to ensure a gentle transition, on your home and your budget, from winter to spring. Even though most of us still have 1 to 2 months until winter weather starts to dissipate, there are a few preventative measures one could take to guarantee a stress-free switch:
1. Check for air leaks
An easy way to check is to use the smoke of a lit stick or incense (for all you home-owning hippies out there). Hold steady in front of areas subject to leakage, such as windows and doors. Watch for movement in the smoke (it might benefit you to turn off your HVAC system so you don’t have any false readings), use tape to indicate where the leaks are.
Establish which type of materials are required: Weather stripping, caulking, sealant, etc. Here are some guidelines of what to use where and when.
The use of caulk in conjunction with weather stripping is a great long term preventative measure. Weather stripping can range from easy to install and temporary to copper and semi – permanent
There are many types of weather stripping for doors, ranging from foam strips, felt to a more expensive tubular vinyl, silicone or rubber stripping.
Remember to check threshold gaskets at door bottoms. If there is light seeping through, it is safe to say that you have a leak. In cases such as this, a taller threshold gasket is recommended.
2. Inspect your HVAC systems
Arguably the most used appliance in your household, the HVAC system requires constant upkeep. To ensure that your HVAC system will operate smoothly throughout the year, it is necessary to maintain all the parts of the whole system. Preventing foreign particulates and other possibly hazardous foreign objects from entering the HVAC system is important. The first line of defense is the use of a High – Efficiency Pleated Air Filter. Complete with an electrostatic charge, these filters have the ability to prevent even the smallest of microbes from entering; that is, if you change your filter as recommended, which is every 90 days. Be sure to check the physical HVAC unit, clear away any debris that may have collected. Once a year pour a cup of half bleach and half water down the AC Condensate drain to prevent algae or mold.
3. Inspect your roof
Hear that drip-drip-drip, but have no idea where it is coming from? What about that odd, Elvis-shaped stain on your ceiling, what’s up with that? That, my friend, is a lack of sufficient roofing. Be sure to check your roofs for:
– Missing, cracked or curled shingles
– Rust spots on flashing
– Large amounts of moss or lichen
As someone who abhors routine, I understand that this list can be a drag but luckily for us we have technology. Just schedule it in your calendar and only think of it when the computer tells you to. Preventative measure will only aid you in your investment and help you to avoid any unsavory situations in the future.