Are my House and Garden Ready for the coming cold?
Luckily there are a few simple steps you can take to prepare! So relax, grab a pumpkin spice latte, and write down your priorities.
HERE ARE A FEW THAT SHOULD BE ON YOUR LIST.
- The three E’s!!!
Efficiency, efficiency, efficiency! This means that looking into making your house as cheap to run as possible. Fortunately, there is a multitude of ways to approach this topic. A highly recommended place to start is with Efficiency Vermont. For a small cost of ~$340.00, we will send an authorized contractor to your place and conduct what is called an “Efficiency Audit”. This report will give you a top to bottom report of your house, areas your losing heat and ways to improve your heating and cooling systems. They cover everything from insulation to heating systems and sealing leaking air. Did you know that having a professional seal your house can save you around $375.00 a year in heating costs? For some people that one-third of their heating bill! Oh and here is the icing on the cake, just because your a vermont home owner; effeciency vermont has excellent loan and rebate programs to help you reduce your energy use, keep your bills down and help the environment.
- Get your Fall checklist together. Remember water is the enemy of a homeowner!!
Go outside and look at your place from the top down. When was the last time I had my slates looked at? It’s hard to see cracks in slate from the ground and getting up there on a ladder can be dangerous and potentially damage more of them. What condition are my eaves in? Have ice dams been damaging them in past years because i don’t have an adequate drip edge? Water intrusion is a huge problem in winters. Left unchecked the water damage can build up slowly over years unnoticed with catastrophic results when a roof collapses from all the water damage. Now move to your window sills, do they need to be painted to prevent them from rotting out? Next, Remove all branches that are within 2-3 ft from your house.
What’s the condition of your foundation? Cracked? or do you have a basement that is always full of water? A humid or wet basement is no fun, it can also promote mold throughout your house, damage your appliances in your basement and cause health problems from the excessive moisture. Fortunately, there are steps to take to limit the water intrusion. Install a drain around your house and seal the foundation is one. There are plenty of DIY instructions online to do this, however, I recommend hiring a professional to complete this work as it can be backbreaking and does require some skill that comes from experience. Not to mention it’s their profession so they are insured and do it the right way. When the spring melt comes around, if done right, you will end up with less or no water intrusion. Efficiency Vermont also has rebates on dehumidifiers to help keep that basement free of excess moisture.
- When in doubt, GET HELP!
Feeling overwhelmed? Don’t worry there is always a professional to help. These tasks might not seem like such a daunting project once a professional shares their opinion with you and most initial consultations are free. Remember that in Fall and Spring it’s important to make sure the bones of your house are in good shape; the roof, walls, and foundation should be high on the list to make sure your investment will carry you comfortably into the future.
- Get your self a Property Manager who you trust.
Not all property managers are the same. Interview a few and find one that works for you. Do you have an investment property? a few? Maybe you only have one house you need some help with from time to time. Having someone dedicated to your house can be crucial to identifying and fixing potential problems before they happen, organize routine maintenance and respond to calls for help if you are away or over your head. Remember a good Property Manager is not one who leaves you in the dark. They will work diligently to help you in your time of need by using their resources effectively and always looking for new and better ways to provide services. Above all, ask them how they communicate and let them know your expectations! The last thing you want is to call your Property Manager, get an answering machine then a phone call a week later apologizing because they were on vacation! Believe us it happens! Now you have five burst pipes instead of one because no one could head to your house.
We are ready to take you into the winter season with care-taking, lawn and grounds and snow services.