Taking care of your home in the winter is sometimes overlooked. Whether it’s the cold temperatures, the snow or working hard spring, summer and fall – winter maintenance seems to take a backseat. These tips will help you prepare for winter and take care of the things that will need your attention during the season.
Before The Winter Weather Comes Knocking
If you’ve stayed on top of your maintenance during all of the other seasons, there are just a few things you’ll want to take care of to prepare for winter weather.
First, make sure your gutters are clean. Fall may have dropped a bunch of leaves and debris and if you it’s been a little while since you’ve cleaned them, this is something that needs attention before that first snowfall. Clogged gutters can let water from melting snow accumulate and create ice dams that damage your siding and roofing.
While you’re cleaning your gutters, take the time to look at your roof and replace any damaged or missing shingles to keep your roof protected all winter long. It may be a good idea to inspect your roof after each snow or ice storm as well.
Insulate your plumbing pipes so they won’t freeze and burst. You want to insulate any pipes that are in an unheated area inside of your home, any pipes that are on the outside of your home and pipes that are close to windows and doors. You should disconnect any hoses you have connected outside and store them for the winter.
Have your heating system inspected and serviced so you don’t have to deal with it failing in freezing temperatures. Be sure to change any filters your system has as well. If you have a fireplace, have a professional come and clean and inspect it to prevent a fire that could destroy your home.
Take the time to clean your ceiling fans and use the switch on each one to reverse the direction of the blades. By letting your fans run clockwise during the winter, you’ll create an updraft that pushes the heat down into the room to keep you and your family more comfortable.
During Winter, Keep Snow And Ice Cleared
Snow removal is the most important maintenance task during the winter. Be sure to take the time to spread ice-melt salts over your sidewalks, driveway and decks to reduce ice build-up and prevent falling. Keep your sidewalks, paths and driveway shoveled regularly so the snow doesn’t get out of hand and you are prepared in case you need to leave the home.
You want to brush off the ice and snow on your trees to prevent the limbs from breaking. In order to do this, you should just brush it off, but never shake the trees. Shaking will increase the chance of breakage. You don’t want a large limb to break off the tree and damage your house or endanger your family.
Clear the snow off your roof with a snow rake so it doesn’t accumulate and damage your roof. If you aren’t able to remove the snow yourself, hire someone to do it for you. The weight of the snow itself is a danger, but so is the snow melting and the water refreezing into an ice dam on your roof.
Prepare Your Entryway For Winter
This is one overlooked maintenance tip because people are so focused on preparing the home and snow removal that they forget about one simple area: the entryway. You should have an outdoor rug and a boot scraper for your family to use before they enter the home.
On the inside of the entryway, have a waterproof tray to place your wet shoes and remember to dump the water out of it once the snow melts. You also need to have slip-resistant floor mats inside your home at the door to protect your flooring from the winter weather and water buildup. The mats will also help catch any snow and water to prevent your family from slipping and falling.
You should take the time to make sure that your front entryway is prepared with the above steps, but don’t forget any back or side entrances that people may use during the season. They may not see as much traffic as your front entryway, but it’s still important to be prepared and keep the entrance safe for anyone who passes through.
Now you know the tasks and areas you should focus on this winter to keep you and your family safe and comfortable and keep your home in the best shape possible. Most of these tasks won’t take long to do and are inexpensive, so make a list and tackle it one-by-one until everything is ready for Jack Frost to pay a visit this winter.