It’s not too early to tackle the yearly checkup of your old brick home. You don't need to hire a pro to get started, although it may be warranted under certain circumstances. You can take measures to prevent winter damage and get a boost in energy efficiency before the weather turns unfriendly. Here are some must-do items for your list.
1. Clean out your gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters during rainstorms can cause water to pool and damage your roof or brick facades. If you aren’t comfortable on a ladder, enlist the help of friends and family members or hire a professional service.
2. Identify and schedule exterior repairs. Look for signs of damage to the roof, siding, and foundation. If you spot anything that needs repair, schedule it before winter weather hits. Check brick facades for signs of mortar deterioration. If you find crumbling mortar or spalling brick contact a masonry contractor with expertise in traditional tuckpointing.
3. Turn off the water supply to exterior faucets. Protect your pipes from freezing temperatures before the weather dips below freezing. Disconnect and drain hoses and store them indoors.
4. Schedule a chimney cleaning and heating system maintenance. Make sure that your chimney is inspected and in good working condition. If it needs brick and mortar repair, contact a masonry contractor. Making sure your chimney and furnace or boiler are cleaned, maintained and in working order before you need to turn on the heat is an important safety measure.
5. Conduct a home energy audit. A trained auditor can assess your home’s current energy efficiency and give you a list of recommended improvements. Additional information on professional home energy audits is provided online by the District of Columbia Sustainable Energy Utility (DCSEU).
Using tips from the District Department of the Environment (DDOE), you can conduct a Do-It-Yourself Audit, which will enable you to identify and correct most problem areas.
Renaissance Development, a leader in brick restoration and historic preservation, specializes in the restoration of a historic brick building’s mortar joints using traditional methods (tuck pointing) and materials. Contact us for a free site visit and project quote.