Small home improvement repairs and scheduled maintenance now, can save you money and a headache later this winter. Your BBB has some tips on what to check for around your home, and tips on hiring a professional.
Have your furnace thoroughly checked. Although it is hard to believe, temperatures are dropping and it’s almost time to turn on the furnace. Remember to change your furnace filter once a month and have an experienced professional provide any necessary maintenance.
Is your chimney in tip-top shape? Although a cozy autumn fire sounds like a good idea, it can also be a fire hazard if your chimney is not clear of bird nests, fallen limbs or other debris. Climbing on your roof to perform chimney inspections and repairs can be risky. Be sure to call a professional to avoid bodily harm.
Check for drafty windows and doors. Drafts cannot only leave you in the cold, but can drain your wallet too. Examine all windows and doors for any leaks and make sure the weather stripping is intact. Small leaks can easily be fixed with caulk or spray insulation and are inexpensive solutions.
Clean gutters are a must! Gutters can accumulate debris and dirt, even if your gutters have any form of leaf guards. Make sure the gutters are clear and replace the leaf guards, if necessary. This will allow rain or melting snow to drain properly.
Take a peek at the roof. Look for loose, damaged or missing shingles and check for any cracks in the flashing as well.
Winterize your pipes. For a few dollars and a little effort, you can eliminate this worry! Water pipe insulation can be purchased at your home improvement store and is easy to install.
Check your batteries! Now is a good time to check the batteries in your smoke and carbon dioxide detectors and back-up flashlights. Test them to make sure they are in working order.
When hiring a professional,
Look for the Torch! An Accredited Business has met the BBB Standards For Trust. Check with the BBB for the company’s BBB Business Review and Grade.
Shop Around! Be sure to get a least 3 written estimates. You can call the BBB for a list of reliable companies in every industry.
Check Insurance! A business should be able to provide a copy of their Worker’s Compensation and liability insurance policies.
Get It In Writing! Once you have a hired a company, be sure to get the details in writing. This should include the work to be completed, the total cost of labor and materials and the date of completion. Be sure to thoroughly read the contract and keep a signed copy for your records.
Get Warranties In Writing! If a warranty is available on the materials or labor, be sure to get a copy of the warranty for your records.
If you have any questions, call your BBB at 330.744.3111 or visit www.youngstown.bbb.org.