Preparing Your Home for Winter
Preparing your home for the winter months will help you avoid unnecessary issues and the costs that come with them. Proper winter home maintenance gives you the opportunity to complete some tasks and keep your family comfortable and warm throughout winter. Here are key things to keep in mind when doing winter maintenance on your home.
Check Plumbing and Insulation for Winter Home Maintenance
Insulation is the first line of defense against the cold. It is important to check the insulation in the walls, around windows and doors, and in the attic. Fill in any gaps you find to keep the cold air outside.
It is also important to properly insulate any plumbing and water pipes that are outdoors or exposed to the cold in any way. These can freeze and burst during the winter months and cause a lot of water damage to the home. Additionally, you can help to prevent your faucets from freezing by letting them drip slowly overnight.
Maintain Your Fireplace
Once the cold hits, the fireplace often becomes the center of attention. It’s good winter home maintenance to inspect your fireplace for issues before regular use. This includes checking the front guard, damper, and chimney for cracks.
In addition to these regular checks, you should have a fire extinguisher on hand and all the necessary tools to use the fireplace safely. Get a fire-resistant mat to place in front of the fireplace to prevent any runaway sparks from causing serious damage. When preparing your fireplace, check your fire alarms to make sure they function and have fresh batteries.
Maintain Heating Systems
Check the heating system in your home annually. Regular use will strain the system and components will eventually fail. You don’t want to be in a situation where your heat goes out in the middle of winter. This is not only uncomfortable, but this could also be dangerous for your family. You will benefit from a winter home maintenance check to make sure that there are no issues ahead of winter.
Outdoor Winter Home Maintenance
Water leading to outdoor faucets should be shut off and winterized. Disconnect garden hoses and drain the faucet to prevent the pipes from freezing and bursting.
Outdoor furniture should be stored away or properly covered if you are unable to move it. Winter weather will damage furniture left outdoors. This also applies to any fixed outdoor appliances such as air conditioners. If they are not going to be used through the winter months, protect them from the cold.
Clear your roof and gutters to prevent water from freezing and damaging your home’s drainage systems. Uncontrolled water can spill over sidewalks and driveways to form thin layers of ice in dangerous places. Keep ice melt and salt on hand to help prevent this. If you have to manually remove snow or ice, do so carefully and slowly to prevent injury.