Many people schedule their winter home maintenance well in advance, assuming that the cold weather will keep things in good condition. But winter can be a time when things start to break down.
Here are some tips for winter home maintenance to help keep your home in good condition:
Table of Content
- 1. Make Sure Your Heating System Is Ready
- 2. Check Your Fireplace And Chimney
- 3. Create A Winter Home Survival Kit
- 4. Protect Your Entryways From Water Damage
- 5. Seal Leaky Doors And Windows
- 6. Inspect Your Home’s Roof
- 7. Weatherproof Exterior Pipes
- 8. Flush And Insulate Your Hot Water Tank
- 9. Store Your Seasonal Tools And Lawn Equipment
- 10. Clean Your Dryer Vents
- 11. Avoid Ice Dams
- 12. Prepare For Winter Storms
- Final Thought
1. Make Sure Your Heating System Is Ready
One of the most important things you can do to prepare your home for winter is make sure your heating system is ready. If you haven’t had your system serviced recently, now is the time to do it. A technician will check the system for any potential problems and make necessary repairs.
Another thing you can do to help ensure your heating system is working properly is to change the air filter. A dirty air filter can cause the system to work harder and may lead to a breakdown. Be sure to replace the filter according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You can also help keep your heating system running efficiently by sealing any cracks or gaps around doors and windows. This will help keep out cold air and reduce the amount of heat needed to warm your home.
2. Check Your Fireplace And Chimney
As the cold weather sets in, it’s important to remember to check your fireplace and chimney for any necessary maintenance. A professional chimney sweep can clean out your chimney and remove any debris or nests that may have been built up over the summer.
It’s also a good idea to have your fireplace inspected to make sure that it is in proper working order and that the flue is clear. If you don’t use your fireplace very often, it’s a good idea to have a fresh coat of paint applied to the inside of the firebox to help protect it from the elements.
3. Create A Winter Home Survival Kit
As the temperature outside starts to drop, you’ll want to make sure your home is ready for winter. One of the most important things you can do is create a winter home survival kit. This kit should include items like flashlights, candles, batteries, and a first-aid kit. You’ll also want to include supplies like food, water, and warm clothes.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow, you’ll also want to include snow shovels and ice scrapers in your kit. Make sure you keep your kit somewhere easy to access so you can quickly grab it if there is a power outage or blizzard.
4. Protect Your Entryways From Water Damage
One of the most important things you can do to protect your home from water damage is to take care of your entryways. If water can’t get in, it can’t cause damage. Make sure that all of your doorways are sealed properly and that there is no leakage around the frames. If there is, you’ll need to seal it with a waterproofing sealant.
It’s also important to keep your sidewalks and driveway clear of snow and ice. When snow and ice accumulate, they can create perfect conditions for water to seep into your home. If you have a garage, make sure that the door is well sealed and doesn’t let any water in.
If you take care of these areas, you can help ensure that your home stays dry and protected from water damage this winter.
5. Seal Leaky Doors And Windows
One of the best ways to keep your home warm during the winter is to make sure all of your doors and windows are sealed properly. A lot of heat can escape from your home through these openings, so it’s important to take the time to caulk and weatherstrip them. You can buy caulk and weatherstripping at most hardware stores.
If you have any cracks or holes in your door or window frames, you’ll need to fix them before you seal the openings. Use a caulking gun to apply a bead of caulk around the edges of the frame. Make sure you get into all of the nooks and crannies. If there are any gaps between the door and frame, you can use weatherstripping to fill them in. There are many different types of weatherstripping, so choose one that will fit the gap perfectly.
6. Inspect Your Home’s Roof
One key aspect of winter home maintenance is inspecting your home’s roof. A qualified home inspector can help you identify any potential problems with your roof that may need to be addressed before the winter weather arrives.
Some common issues that may need to be fixed include missing or damaged shingles, loose or missing tiles, and water infiltration. Addressing these problems early on can help prevent more serious damage from occurring later on.
7. Weatherproof Exterior Pipes
In order to keep your home functioning properly throughout the winter, it’s important to weatherproof exterior pipes. If cold air seeps into the pipes, it can cause them to freeze and burst. This can lead to water damage in your home and expensive repairs.
There are a few things you can do to protect your pipes from the cold. One is to wrap them in insulation. You can buy insulation sleeves specifically designed for this purpose, or use pipe insulation that you already have around the house. Just make sure that the insulation is thick enough to keep out the cold air.
Another way to keep your pipes warm is to install heat tape or heating cables around them. These cables will generate heat that will help keep the pipes from freezing. If you take these precautions, your pipes should stay safe during the winter months.
8. Flush And Insulate Your Hot Water Tank
Most people only think about their hot water tank when it’s not working, but it’s important to maintain your tank all year long. During the winter, it’s especially important to keep your tank insulated and to flush out the sediment that can build up over time.
If you have an older hot water tank, it’s a good idea to insulate it with a blanket or some fiberglass insulation. You can buy insulation at most hardware stores. If you have a newer tank, it probably already has insulation built in.
To flush your tank, turn off the water supply and open the drain valve at the bottom of the tank. Let the water run until it’s clear, then close the valve. Make sure you don’t forget to turn on the water supply again before using your hot water!
9. Store Your Seasonal Tools And Lawn Equipment
One of the best ways to keep your home looking great is to perform some winter maintenance. This includes tasks like cleaning the gutters, raking up leaves and storing any seasonal tools and lawn equipment.
If you have a garage, this is a great place to store your tools and lawn equipment. Make sure to clear out any clutter so you have plenty of room to work. If you don’t have a garage, consider using a shed or even an unused closet in your home.
When it comes to storing your tools and equipment, make sure everything is clean and in good working condition. You may also want to consider labeling each item so you can easily find it when you need it again.
Storing your tools and equipment properly will help ensure that they’re in good condition when you need them next season.
10. Clean Your Dryer Vents
Another most important – but often overlooked – tasks for winter home maintenance is cleaning your dryer vents. Lint and other debris can build up in the vents over time, causing a number of problems.
First and foremost, it can cause your dryer to work less efficiently, resulting in longer drying times. It can also be a fire hazard, as lint is highly flammable. The best way to clean your dryer vents is to use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment.
Make sure the vacuum cleaner is unplugged before you start cleaning, and be very careful not to let the hose touch any of the electrical components on the dryer. If you don’t have a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment, you can try using a long-handled duster or broom to clear out the vents.
11. Avoid Ice Dams
Ice dams can form on the roof of a home when there is a combination of deep snow and freezing temperatures. The dams are created when melted snow refreezes along the roofline, often trapping water and leading to leaks inside the home.
In order to avoid ice dams, it is important to keep the roof clear of snow and to keep the eavestroughs and downspouts clean. It is also important to make sure that the insulation in the attic is adequate so that the heat from the house can escape.
12. Prepare For Winter Storms
Snow and ice can be beautiful to look at, but they can also be dangerous. Heavy snow and ice can cause roofs to collapse, trees to fall, and power outages. It is important to take precautions before a winter storm hits so that you and your family are safe.
One of the most important things you can do is to keep your home well-maintained. Make sure your roof is in good condition, trim any branches that could fall on your house, clear snow and ice from your sidewalks and driveway, and check your smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.
If you live in an area that is prone to power outages, make sure you have a backup plan in place. Have a generator or some other way of generating electricity, enough food and water to last for several days, and a way to stay warm if the power goes out.
In conclusion, winter is a time when homeowners should take the time to do some necessary maintenance on their homes. This includes checking the roof for damage, cleaning out the gutters, and ensuring that all windows and doors are properly sealed.
By taking these simple steps, homeowners can help ensure that their homes are in good condition and ready for the winter season.