Whether you enjoy the winter weather or not, it’s quickly approaching, and this is why we have put together a Winter Home Care Checklist for you. These conditions can be disastrous to homes that aren’t prepared. The damage caused by water and extreme cold can lead to expensive repairs. This is why it is crucial to make sure your house is ready!
#1 – Prepare Your Pipes for the Cold
As the temperature starts to drop, you might want to start thinking about protecting your home’s pipes. When the water in pipes freezes, it expands and causes the pipes to burst. To prevent this from happening, you’re going to need to insulate any pipes that are in areas of your home that are unheated. These types of pipes are typically located in a garage, basement, or near windows or doors and will need to be insulated. You want to be sure to disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets and not let your home’s temperature go below 50 degrees.
#2 – Make Sure Your Heat Is Working
The heating system in your home is one of the most important items on our checklist to check before this winter season. Freezing temperatures are a hazard, and it is critical that your system is sufficient to keep your home warm and keep your pipes intact. The types of heating systems vary per household and need to be treated as such. You want to first start by determining what system you have. If you have a home that contains a boiler system, make sure to have it cleaned once every year. Gas systems require professional cleaning every three years. Finally, make sure that you check all of the necessary filters and replace them if needed.
#3 – Seal Windows and Doors
Every winter, you should inspect your doors and windows for cold air leaks. These leaks can lead to substantial heat loss and could cause your electric or gas bill to run up quickly. You need to be sure that the insulation around the windows and doors is not cracked or has any gaps. If this is the case, you will need to make sure you replace the weather stripping or apply caulking in the gaps.
#4 – Protect Your Entryways From Water Damage
Another way to protect your home this winter is to keep in mind that your entryways could be susceptible to water damage. Elements like snow, ice, salt, and mud can lead to damage of your floors. To keep them safe, place floor mats on the inside and outside of doors that have high traffic. You should also keep dirty and wet shoes off of your floors. To do this, keep them on a mat or shoes rack to keep your floors in pristine condition.
#5 – Check Your Fireplace and Chimney
For those that regularly use their fireplace as a source of heat, you will want to ensure that it is in tip-top shape before it gets too cold. Another thing to do is to consider having your chimney cleaned by a chimney sweep before using it to ensure your home is safe. Make sure to clean out any unburned pieces of wood and ash from the fireplace itself. Finally, make sure to check for cracks and debris in the chimney, as these things could be potentially hazardous.
#6 – Flush and Insulate Your Hot Water Tank
Something that most people don’t think about is flushing your hot water tank to remove any sediment buildup. When you have completed this, you should place an insulated blanket around the water heater to keep it from getting cold. (Bonus Tip: Doing this can help you conserve energy and money!)
#7 – Create A Winter Home Survival Kit
In the past few years, the winters have been harsher than ever. Winter storms have been known to cause power outages, which is why you should consider making a home survival kit. In the event that you are without power, a survival kit could come in handy. Placing your kit in a handy, safe, and dry location can make all the difference. To make this kit, you should first start with a large bucket or container and fill it with these essentials:
- First-aid supplies
- Portable phone charger
- Bottled water
- Non-perishable food
Other items that you should have on hand include salt for your driveway and walkways and possibly sand in case of flooding.
#8 – Inspect Your Home’s Roof
One of the more critical parts of your home, especially in the winter, is your home’s roof! You should use any good weather left in the fall season to check your roof for any damage. You should check for any missing or damaged shingles. If this ends up being the case, you should contact a professional roofer to make the necessary repairs. While you are up there, make sure to remove any debris that has gathered on the roof and clear out your gutters.
#9 – Protect Your Patio Furniture
Something that often gets forgotten about during the winter season is patio furniture. Snow and cold temperatures can damage wood, metal, and plastic materials. This could also lead to the molding of your patio cushions. To prevent this from happening, make sure to move your patio furniture to a covered location or make sure to cover it with a tarp. Make sure to move your cushions indoors or put them into a container and place them in a dry place.
#10 – Store Away Your Seasonal Tools and Lawn Equipment
To keep your lawn equipment and tools working properly, you need to store them somewhere they won’t be damaged. Snow and water can cause electrical equipment to stop working and can lead to the development of rust on metal materials. This is why you want to be sure to put your tools away in a dry place.
We hope that this winter home care checklist helps you keep your home warm and dry this season. As always, make sure to check back for more home tips and events!