As the summer months wind down and temperatures experience a short dip before taking the plunge into winter, it’s the perfect time to give your home a pre-season check-up.  Particular parts of our homes deteriorate over time and are important to regularly inspect, no matter how secondary they may seem. Sometimes the little things can make a big difference from saving you money on repairs to maybe even saving your life during a disaster. Inspect the following aspects of your property for leaks, decay, or renewal.

The Roof
The top of your house takes a lot of damage due to the elements from heavy rains to natural debris falling from surrounding trees or blowing in with the wind.  First and foremost, check ridge shingles for cracks or potential wind damage.  Missing, curled, or damaged shingles are all potential weak spots. Damaged areas of the roof are the most likely place for a leak to develop and once the water starts flowing, it may be difficult to pinpoint how or where the water is accessing the interior.

The Gutters
Your home’s gutters are the veins to your house and when a clog occurs, it affects the whole system.  Thousands of gallons of water are rerouted and expelled from your roof’s drainage system every season, protecting your home from water damage. Make sure you’ve had your gutters properly cleaned before the rainy season and maybe even install some mesh guards to keep large accumulations of debris from coming back.

The Hearth
Checking your fireplace or wood burning stove annually for damage or hazards can secure the difference between a warm night and a fire damage disaster.  Inspect your flue for blockages or creosote build-up. Creosote is a flammable by-product of burning wood and when accumulated in your flue or chimney, can result in a disastrous fire.  If any layers are approaching 1/8 inch thick, it’s time to call a professional chimney sweep.

The Pipes
Before temperatures truly hit rock bottom, ensure outside faucets and underground irrigation systems don’t freeze or burst. Check your manufacturer’s manual for draining the lines or if you don’t have shut-off valves, buy Styrofoam faucet covers sold at most home repair centers.

Preparing your home for a season not quite in sight yet can be a major advantage for the health and safety of your home. Minor home fixes can turn into major home disasters without proper preparation. If your home does end up suffering from water damage due to a peaking hurricane season or from fire damage due to a neglected warming system, ServiceMaster Quality Restoration can heal your home in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Photo Credit: Eric Schmuttenmaer