So you've moved into your new mountain home. But now what?
Owning a home in the mountains requires regular and proper maintenance to keep your home functioning efficiently and safely and ultimately protects your home's value. We've put together the following tips to help you keep your new investment in tip top shape.
Fire mitigation is a process to reduce the risk of wildfires to your home and those around you. As homeowners in the Colorado Rockies, fire mitigation is imperative as we face arid summers with periods of drought, which are ideal conditions for wildfires. Fire mitigation removes "fuels" from your property that can create increased heat and exposure to your home in the event of a wildfire. The intent is to remove dead trees and shrubs and to create a defensible space around your house where vegetation is modified or removed to reduce the intensity of a potential wildfire and slow its spread. For more information on fire mitigation in Colorado, click here.
Fireplace / Chimneys
A dirty chimney builds up creosote deposits that can easily catch a wayward spark and cause a home fire. The National Fire Protection Association makes the following recommendations for properly maintaining your chimney:
- Have your chimney inspected and cleaned every year by a qualified professional.
- Make sure you have a chimney cap to help keep animals out.
Click here for local chimney service providers.
During the winter season, properly maintained gutters and downspouts are essential. A well-working gutter system ensures water from melting snow is directed away from the home's exterior and foundation. Expanding ice can lead to a host of issues that include damaged fascia and cracked foundations. Winter gutter maintenance is a simple process that can help prevent unnecessary damage and costly gutter repair in winter, saving you time and money in the long run. It involves simply clearing the gutters of debris to allow for proper water flow.
Heat / Thermostats
The extreme climate in our mountain communities can lead to frequent freezing temperatures so it's best to keep thermostats at 55°F or higher at all times to help keep the interior of the floor and wall cavities, where the water piping is likely located, above freezing. We always recommend installing a smart thermostat that allows you to monitor and control the temperature of your home from your smart phone. This especially comes in handy when renting your property as renters are not great at checking the temperature settings upon their departure.
Propane tanks require little to no maintenance by homeowners, if tended to appropriately. Hiring a propane service to monitor your gas usage and automatically refill your tank as needed is the way to go. This will give you peace of mind that you will never run out. Your job is to ensure that the tank does not become obstructed in any way such as from vegetation and debris. If ever you smell a leak, contact your propane provider immediately. Click here for local propane providers.
With the large amounts of snow we get in our mountain communities, ice dams, icicles and large amounts of snow tend accumulate on or along rooflines and can be dangerous to both the home and its owners. Additionally, long standing snow can cause the shingles on your roof to lift, which can lead to roof leaks and major moisture problems. There are a number of proven and effective ways to eliminate damming and icicles that can pose a major threat as they dangle above sidewalks, decks and other outdoor spaces. See below for local service providers to help you maintain your roof.
The average lifespan for septic systems is about 30 years if property maintained. Simple practices such as regular pumping and not over-occupying a home can significantly lengthen the life of your system. Tanks should be pumped every 2-4 years depending on usage. Effluent filters (if applicable) should be cleaned annually. See below for tips and resources for properly maintaining your septic system.
Six inches of snow quickly turns into a few inches of ice when left on your deck, sidewalk or driveway. The damage it leaves not only affects the appearance of your home but can cause damage reducing your home's value. While most public roads are maintained by the county and/or your HOA, private driveways, decks, porches, etc., will require you to hire a snow removal company or do the heavy lifting yourself. Most companies offer a recurring service where they will remove snow anytime we get at least 4-6 inches of snowfall. This keeps things clear and prevents major buildup. Click here for snow removal service providers.
Wells are fairly self sufficient, although if you are purchasing a new property you will want to get the well inspected and order a water quality test to check for any contaminants. Your agent will help coordinate that for you. See below for resources on both new and existing wells.