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It's Cold Outside - Prepare Your Home

Homes need people. They deteriorate quickly when they’re not getting attention. Take the time to protect your investment.

Here are a few items that you can do to get ready for the winter and help keep your home happy:


Check your home’s heating and air conditioning system

Most heating and air systems typically last 12 to 15 years. I see systems that are pretty much dead at 10 years and I see systems that are still going strong at 20 years. A lot of this has to do with how they’re maintained.


Before the weather turns cold, take this time to change your filters, at the very least. I recommend having the system inspected by a reputable HVAC contractor. Better yet, look into an annual maintenance agreement. Have the contractor check your system and make sure your heat is going to work when you need it. It’s much better to find an HVAC problem in the moderate temperatures of the fall than it is to find your furnace doesn’t work on a frigid winter day.


Paint, caulk and seal exterior wood

All the wood trim on the exterior of your home needs to be protected from the elements. The wood used on your deck is typically a pressure-treated or rot-resistant species of wood, but the wood trim around your exterior doors and windows is just a one-inch-thick pine board that deteriorates very quickly if not protected. I see a lot of rotten wood around the outside of bay windows and exterior doors.

Replacing this trim is a big cost and pain and even professionals can struggle with making the repair look good. The best thing to do is to make sure it doesn’t rot in the first place, and that means keeping it painted and caulked. This is a job most people can do themselves if they stay on top of it.


Once the wood is rotted and requires replacement, then you’re probably going to need to hire a good trim carpenter to tackle the job. So, before that happens, take the time to go around your home and make sure that none of the caulk is cracking and your paint is not chipping and flaking away. If it is, scrape away the bad paint or caulk and apply fresh.