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Winterizing Your Home

Winter arrives before you know it every year and being prepared is something everyone strives for. Follow these simple guidelines to prep your home for winter and save money wherever you can.

1. Cleaning the Gutters

Once the leaves begin to fall, you will need to clear gutters to allow rain and melting ice to properly drain. Clean out gutters by scooping out loose debris, washing out the gutter with a hose, and flushing out the downspouts. Another option you might want to consider is installing gutter covers which allow water to flow through while keeping leaves and other debris out.

Clean Your Gutters

2. Insulating the Pipes

Cold weather can spell disaster for exposed pipes. As anyone who has experienced it already knows, a burst pipe can be a nightmare. To protect your pipes, wrap and insulate them with heating tape. Check for leaks and cracks so that minor repairs can be made before Jack Frost causes major damage.

3. Trimming the Tree Branches

Winter storms can pack quite a punch, sometimes powerful enough to knock down tree branches with the added weight of ice or snow. Falling limbs can damage homes, cars or even the neighbor taking Milo for a walk. Autumn is a great time to check your trees and other landscaping for weak branches.

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4. Insulating your Home

Cut heating costs this winter by checking the insulation in attics and basements. Proper insulation keeps heat from escaping and keeps your home warmer. The Insurance Information Institute recommends that attics be kept 5 to 10 degrees warmer than the outside air to prevent snow from melting and re-freezing, which can cause significant damage to your roof.

5. Cleaning out the Chimneys, Furnaces, Boilers, and Heaters

Before winter arrives, have your chimney or furnace checked. Servicing them once a year can prevent smoke and other damage to your home, helping to ensure your home stays warm. Make sure to keep your homes temperature at 65 degrees or higher to prevent pipes from freezing.

Clean Chimney

6. Sealing the Windows and Doors

Make sure that your windows and doors are properly sealed by double-checking the weather stripping. Use weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors to prevent heat from escaping in cold months, saving you money on your energy bill.

7. Preparing your Lawn and Landscaping

Cold temperatures cause grass and other plants in your landscape to go dormant. Spend a few hours preparing your lawn for beautiful greenery next year. Start by aerating. Renting an aerator is a cost-effective and efficient way to reduce thatch and provide extra space in the soil for water and oxygen to reach the roots. After aerating, spread a quality winter fertilizer to give your grass the nutrients it needs to grow strong.

Protect Your Deck

8. Protecting your Deck

The harsh winter elements can take a major toll on decking, so it’s important to protect it. With a little time and effort, your deck will make it through winter unscathed and ready for outdoor fun in spring. To keep the structure’s integrity intact and wood looking beautiful, clean and seal your deck before winter arrives.

Do you have a winterizing tip that we missed?! Comment below to share with us! Looking information about caring for your home or maybe finding your home’s value? Contact any of our awesome agents for answers and help!

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Life Expectancy of Home Components

One of the biggest fears of any home buyer who is buying a resale home is having to replace systems or components that break down after they move-in. We always recommend buyers get a home inspection before closing on a home so they know more about the condition of their new homes systems up front, but there is only so much an inspector can check. Systems can break down at any time due to normal wear and tear or negligence, often without warning. 

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For that reason, it is valuable to know the average life-expectancy of your new home’s components. This can help you plan for future repairs or replacements projects, though many systems end up working completely fine well past their anticipated useful life! Below, we have a graph for you with all of the major components or you can read the list below that. 

If you are looking for the right inspector of would like help finding the right vendor to repair or service one of your systems, contact one of our awesome agents and we’ll connect you with a great referral!

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  • Air-Conditioning Unit > 12-15 years
  • Water Heater > 12-15 years
  • Roof > 20 years
  • Toilet > Lifetime
  • Shower Enclosure > 50+ years
  • Tub/Shower Faucets > 20+ years
  • Bathtub > 25+ years
  • Refrigerator > 13 years
  • Dishwasher > 9 years
  • Garage Door Opener > 10-15 years
  • Microwave > 9 years
  • Garbage Disposal > 12 years
  • Range/Oven > 13-15 years
  • Kitchen Faucet > 15 years
  • Kitchen Sink > 5-10 years
  • Kitchen Cabinets > 50 years
  • Dryer > 15 years
  • Washing Machine > 10 years
  • Wood/Stone Flooring > 100 years
  • Wood Deck > 10-15 years
  • Electrical Switches & Outlets > 10+ years
  • Carpeting > 8-10 years
  • Exterior Paint > up to 15 years
  • Home Security System & Smoke Detectors > 5-10 years
  • Furnace > 15-18 years
  • Windows > 15-30 years