Friday, October 12th, 2018 by Lidia Staron
Seasonal Home Improvement: Winter Maintenance Checklist
The winter season marks the Holiday period – the happiest time of the year! But without proper preparation, winter can be a be a problematic time for many homeowners too.
While the fluffy snow and sparkling ice makes a winter wonderland, the winter season can also cause varying problems in your home interior and exterior, such as burst pipes, ice dams, roof leaks, clogged gutters, and fallen tree limbs that could damage your home, fence, and landscaping, among others.
Instead of spending your money on holiday presents, you could end up spending it on winter-related disasters. But with a bit of preventive maintenance, you can definitely fight the winter woes.
Winter Maintenance Checklist
You need not break your bank on winter-proofing your home especially if it only warrants minor patching up and repair. Thankfully, financing options that are available for varying home improvement purposes.
Let’s start with your home exterior which should be your main priority because a winter-proof exterior would mean a warm, comfortable, and damage-free interior.
· First of all, you want to get your roof ready for the winter. Don’t worry, it should not take long. Usually, it just involves some simple visual inspection. Inspect areas where shingles meet the flashing, plumbing stacks, antenna mounts, bricks, etc. They supposed to have been aided with waterproofing sealant but over the years, the sealant can wear out, causing water to penetrate and damage your roofing system.
· Clear gutters and make sure that the water drains away from the foundation of your home.
· Have your fireplace inspected and cleaned by a professional. Look for possible cracks and debris that could spark potential fire hazards. It should be free from any nests from birds and other animals.
· Check if your roofing system has well-distributed insulation especially near the edges of the attic.
· Insulate exposed pipes. Ideally, you should wrap them with electrical heating tape before insulating the pipes.
· Have your sprinkler system winterized ideally before the end of October. Winterization should involve turning off the water supply and blowing off compressed air to prevent freezing and bursting.
· Prepare your landscape and garden too. Cover patio furniture. Consider adding a fresh coat of sealant on your deck, drain water fountains, and unplug the pumps.
· Install sheds for your shrubs and plants that are vulnerable to winter woes.
· Regularly remove ice and snow during the winter season.
· Inspect all exterior electrical/lighting fixtures. Make sure to replace all worn-out bulbs.
· Weather-strip doors and windows. When it’s windy outside, close your windows and check for air leaks. Install caulking into all joints where the air is leaking. Do the same thing on your doors, especially on the side and bottom.
· Waterproof your basement. The cold and wet conditions can leave your home’s external walls susceptible to moisture which doesn’t just make your interior colder but can also cause costly damage. Contact professionals for foundation and basement waterproofing. It’s best to do this during spring or fall in preparation for winter. Now, this can be a little expensive but it’s one of the most-important winter home maintenance checklist areas. Check for available online personal loans through your bank, insurance policy, or a private lender if you are short of funds.
· Reverse ceiling fans. This should help push the warm air down.
· Consider adding insulation on your attic walls and crawl spaces.
· Replace or repair caulking around showers and bathtubs when necessary.
· Inspect your heating system for any damage or problem. It’s best to call a technician. Issues with your home’s HVAC system can cause your energy bills to flare up.
· Check if your carbon monoxide detector is working properly. Buy one if you still don’t have one. Carbon-monoxide poisoning is a serious winter danger that is usually caused by improper ventilation, generators, wood-burning devices, etc.
· To prevent ice dams, call a weatherization contractor to fix inadequate insulation and fix air leaks in the attic which can lead to ice dams.
· Insulate your attic to prevent warm air from escaping your home.
· Check toilets for leaks in the tank.
· Clean the condenser coils of your refrigerator or freezer, as well as the drip trays.
· Keep your humidifiers clean all the time. They may require a cleanup two to three times during the winter season.
· If installing holiday lights, always check for frayed wires or loose connections. Decorate safely.
· Be prepared for emergencies. Have the following items ready during snow-ins and blackouts: flashlight, medicines, first aid kit, batteries, nonperishable food items, etc.
Winter is the Holiday season and despite the seemingly unforgiving weather, it’s still a time of the year we all look forward to. But to fully enjoy this season, make sure that you prepare your home against varying winter woes. Not only does this checklist will help keep your family safe and warm, it should also protect you from costly repairs in the future.
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