Your Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
If you haven’t yet prepared your home for the winter months, there’s no time to waste. From checking weather stripping and sprinkler systems to carbon monoxide detectors and heating systems, there’s plenty to do. Follow this easy checklist to ensure your home is ready for the season:
Inspect and Clean Your Chimney
One of the first things on many people’s minds when the cold weather arrives is keeping themselves warm and toasty. If you use a fireplace, make sure to give your chimney a thorough cleaning and have a professional perform a chimney inspection. A professional inspection can help you spot any signs of damage or animals that may have built a home in your chimney.
Have Your HVAC System Checked
Central heating and air conditioning are the primary way many people regulate the temperature inside their homes, so ensuring your system is running cleanly and efficiently is crucial. You may also want to contact a professional air duct cleaning company to inspect and clean your system. A clean system runs more efficiently and improves indoor air quality.
Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Keeping fire safety in mind is vital with more time spent in the home and running heating systems or fireplaces. Make sure your home’s smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order with fresh batteries and regular tests. In case of emergency, make sure your family has a fire escape plan in place as well.
Stop Air Leakage in Your Home
Air leakage is one of the most significant contributors to higher heating bills during winter, so adequate sealing is important. Make sure that lesser-used areas like the attic and basement are properly insulated. Install weather stripping for the windows and doors to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from seeping in from outside. Faulty door and window seals can drive your heating bill up as cold temperatures set in.
Protect Your Pipes
Freezing pipes are a major cause of water damage in many homes, so check the water pipes in your dwelling. Insulating your pipes can help you avoid cracks and breakages. Pay close attention to any water pipes in your basement or in crawl spaces.
Shut Off Sprinkler Systems and Garden Hoses
Your winter home maintenance doesn’t stop inside the home, as there are many steps you should take outside to prevent winter water damage. Disconnect your garden hoses and drain any water. Then, shut off the water valve to your garden hoses and sprinkler systems. This will prevent water in the pipes from freezing while your hoses wait for warmer weather.
Keep Your Home Safe from Falling Branches
Winter storms can be wildly unpredictable, and an errant storm could spell disaster if you have tree branches hanging over your house. Thoroughly inspect your home's perimeter for any branches hanging over parts of your home or near windows. Tree branches near power lines should be a particular focus because falling limbs could disrupt your power and cause damage during a storm.
Clean Your Gutters
Cleaning your gutters is vital to keeping your home safe and free from water damage during the winter. Use a ladder and work gloves to clean out your gutters before the first snow to prevent ice buildup in your gutters that can damage the exterior walls of your house. Professional handymen often offer gutter cleaning services if you are uncomfortable using a ladder.
Keep Your Garden Well Prepared for Winter
It’s time to prepare your garden for the cold weather. Trim your perennials to two to three inches above the ground and use mulch on your garden bed to help regulate the temperature of the soil during the winter. Be sure to prepare your lawn care equipment by draining gas and using pump-protecting antifreeze to keep your gear safe during the winter.
Prevent Ice Dams on Your Roof
We’ve all seen rooftops with massive icicles hanging down, so take steps to avoid this kind of ice buildup. Consider hiring a home-energy auditor or a contractor specializing in weatherization to inspect your roof for air leaks or insulation issues that might create ice dams. Icicle buildup can not only be a danger to you and your family but can also damage gutters and shingles and cause water backup and leaks.
Let AdvantaClean Help
Preparing for winter weather can help avoid damage to your home, but AdvantaClean is standing by if you do experience mold, water damage, or fire damage. We offer mold remediation, water damage restoration, and air duct cleaning services. Call AdvantaClean today or book an appointment online for a healthier home or business!