(CBS DETROIT) - "A lot of my business in the winter comes from damage, unnecessary damage from that happens to homes because of deferred maintenance," said Ali Shebley, a licensed builder in Metro Detroit.
Shebley is urging homeowners not to ignore winterizing simple items, he said it could cost big money if that maintenance is not done properly.
"You want to see your maintenance contractor in the fall or in the summer costing you a few hundred dollars instead of seeing a contractor in the winter charging thousands of dollars basically to repair damage," Shebley explained.
Shebley said there are a variety of things homeowners can do to winterize their homes, but a few items are essential.
Outdoor Water Lines
Any water spigot outside of homes, such as your hose hook-up, should be turned off from the basement or crawl space. A water shut-off valve can usually be found on the inside near the location of the outdoor water spigot.
Step 1: Turn on your hose outside.
Step 2: Turn off the shut-off valve inside until the water runs out of the hose. Repeat for other spigots located outside.
Test your furnace
Shebley said making sure your furnace turns on and your pilot is lit is better to do before it's freezing outside so that homeowners aren't forced to order costly emergency maintenance during the cold.
Change your filter. Dust can accumulate in your filter in the summer time, which means your filter likely needs to be changed with the change in season.
Clean your gutters
Leaves can hold moisture. Moisture can freeze. Water that freezes in the gutters can cause damming, which can cause leaks in your gutters.
Winterize your sprinklers
Of all the winterizing maintenance mentioned, Shebley said it's better to call a professional to clear our your sprinkler lines. The cost to do so is usually $40-$60, however, the cost to replace a ruptured line can cost hundreds of dollars and worst case scenario, you may ruin your entire sprinkler system.
Shebley is reminding homeowners to spend a little bit of time and money now, so that homeowners can avoid spending a lot later on.
"Homes in Michigan are built to withstand the weather, but they're not built to maintain themselves," Shebley said.
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