Winter Home Maintenance Tips

            There’s always so much to do when winter rolls around. The winter gear needs brought out and the warm weather stuff needs put away, the shovels and windshield scrapers need to be handy, and most importantly your house needs the proper maintenance done. Many times, we forget to do several key things to our house before winter is in full swing so here is a list of some maintenance tips for your house.

  1. Keep your pipes from freezing.

You can wrap your pipes in insulation or let the water faucets drip when the temperature plummets below freezing.

  1. Caulk cracks and holes.

Walk around your house and caulk any cracks or holes near the windows or doors. Make sure you check inside and outside your house.

  1. Get your furnace inspected.

Have a professional come out and inspect your furnace to make sure it is in tip top shape and ready for winter.

  1. Check the batteries in your smoke detectors.

Just because its winter doesn’t mean fires are impossible. Make sure you have new batteries in your smoke detectors so you don’t have to take any chances.

  1. Check your roof.

Get up on the roof and look for missing shingles or patches of roofing that need replaced. If you don’t want to attempt climbing on the roof, walk around your house on the ground and look very closely for obvious problems.

  1. Unhook your outdoor hose.

If you have an outdoor gardening hose, unhook it from the faucet and store it away for the winter. It is also a great idea to completely turn off the water to the outdoor faucets.

  1. Clean out your gutters.

Make sure you clean all the leaves and dirt out of your gutters so water doesn’t get backed up and freeze. This could cause leaks, roof damage, and gutter damage.

  1. Inspect your insulation.

Check in the attic and walls to make sure your insulation is still in good condition and doesn’t need replaced.

  1. Check your sump pump.

Test your sump pump to ensure that it is running smoothly so you can prevent a flooded basement.

  1. Reverse your ceiling fans.

Find the switch on your fan that reverses the direction the fan blades spin. This will cause the fan to push the warm air down and keep your house warmer.

  1. Inspect your hot water heater.

Check to see if your hot water heater is working properly. You should also make sure your hot water heater is adequately insulated. If you are unsure, wrap some insulation around the hot water heater.

  1. Get your chimney swept.

Obviously, this only applies to those with a chimney. If you have a chimney you will want to get it cleaned and inspected to prevent fires and cold drafts coming into your house.

  1. Keep the heat on.

Even if you leave for a vacation or just leave for your usual work shift, be sure to leave your heat on. You don’t have to keep it super high. Just don’t turn it off or too much lower than it is when you are home. This will help prevent frozen pipes and interior damage.

  1. Cut tree branches.

Walk around your house and look for any dead or unstable branches hanging over your house. Trim the branches down or completely cut them off to prevent them from falling onto your house during a storm or heavy ice.

  1. Protect your air conditioners.

Since you won’t be needing them any time soon, cover your outdoor air conditioners with a tarp to prevent damage from ice or icicles. If you have window air conditioner, cover it or remove it completely to prevent damage and drafts.

Your house isn’t just a building its your home and where your family lives. Use these 15 tips to take care of your house during the winter and prevent damage that could be very costly. We hope you have a safe and warm winter.

Written by: Emily Baker

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