8 Winter Home Maintenance Tips
As the weather gets colder and more unpredictable, your home may need some extra attention to ensure it's prepared for the winter. Having a good regular home maintenance routine is an excellent way to protect your investment, save you money, and keep your family safe. Here’s a list of maintenance tips to help winterize your home.1. Check your windows.
Keep the cool air out and warm air in. Examine your home’s windows and doors for cracks or air leaks and seal them properly. Weather-stripping or caulking these areas can prevent heat from escaping your home which could help you save on the heating bill. Also, check around outlets, switches, air ducts, attic entrances, utility access, and plumbing for air leaks.
2. Examine the roof.
Look at your roof to check for missing or damaged shingles. A leaking roof can cause serious damage to your home such as mold growth, stained walls, damaged ceilings, insulation damage, and foundation problems. If you’re afraid of heights, no worries. Call a professional to inspect your roof. They’ll replace shingles as needed to prevent leaks in your home before winter settles in.
3. Check your gutters.
While you’re checking the roof, take a look at the gutters. With the weather changing, leaves and other debris are falling from the trees which could clog your gutters. Remove any leaves, pine cones, and sticks to prevent poor drainage. Clogged gutters can cause major problems - a leaky roof, mold caused by standing water, and foundation damage. Cleaning your gutters at least twice a year is a good practice to keep on the home maintenance checklist. Again, if you’re afraid of heights, you can always hire a professional.
4. Check your fire alarms.
Most home fires occur during the fall and winter months. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, three out of five home fire deaths occur without working fire alarms. To maintain your fire alarms you should check the alarm every month, replace the batteries every six months, and replace the entire fire alarm every ten years. After checking all fire alarms in the home, be sure to check your fire extinguisher. Make sure it’s easily accessible, check the pressure gauge, look for any signs of damage, and check to make sure it’s full.
5. Inspect your heating system.
With heating systems working overtime during colder months, the last thing you need is for your unit to stop working on the coldest day of winter. Now is a good time to schedule maintenance, especially if it’s been a while since the last time your heating and air conditioning unit was serviced. A certified technician will inspect your unit to ensure it’s working correctly. Also, be sure to replace air filters and clean air ducts to help improve energy efficiency.
6. Clean your dryer vents.
According to the U.S. Fire Administration, dryers cause over 2,900 home fires every year. Lint buildup over time could cause a dangerous situation and severe damage to your home. You can reduce the risk of a dryer fire by cleaning the filter, dryer duct, and vent. Also, examine the duct carefully and replace it if needed.
7. Prepare your lawnmower.
Keep your lawn equipment in top shape for spring and summer lawn maintenance by preparing it for winter. Before you store it away, take these steps to winterize your lawn equipment: remove the gas, drain the oil, replace the spark plug, and change the air filter. Always check the owner’s manual for instructions on winterizing your lawn equipment.
8. Prepare an emergency kit.
The weather can be unpredictable. Who knows, this may be the season of unprecedented snowfall and power outages. Prepare your emergency kit now, so you’re prepared to keep your family safe during a power outage. The kit should include bottled water, flashlight, extra batteries, first-aid kits, non-perishable foods (including baby food and supplies), blankets, diapers, and pet food for your fur baby.
Don’t let the hustle and bustle of life keep you from maintaining your home during the winter months. Prepare your home now to keep you safe, comfortable, and warm. Start checking off your list to improve your home efficiency and to help save you money. If you need assistance with any of these tasks, call a professional to tackle the job.