Important Winter Home Maintenance checklist
Winter can be harsh, not just on us but for our homes too! Here are some tips on how to prepare your home for winter and winter home maintenance.
1. Prevent pipes from freezing.
When the weather gets colder, unprotected water pipes can often freeze, leaving you without water (and in some cases without heating, too). Without steps to protect them during the winter months, water pipes can freeze and sometimes burst. Allowing heat to circulate around your home and having sufficient insulation can help ensure the pipes remain at a constant temperature.
Too late? Here’s what to do if a pipe freezes:
-Turn on the tap of the frozen pipe and leave it open while treating the pipe.
-Allow warm air to flow safely to the affected area — always use any heat source (electric heating pad, blow dryer, space heater) safely to avoid potential harm and damage to your home and its occupants.
-If you’ve found one frozen pipe, check all the taps in the house — if only a drip comes out, there is likely another frozen pipe.
-If you cannot access the frozen pipe, or if your efforts to thaw it do not work, call a licensed plumber.
2. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detector
Prepare for winter! Test all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure they are in good working order. Replace batteries with new ones. Windows are closed in winter and with gas furnaces and fireplaces burning away, the danger of noxious gases escaping is greater.
3. Weatherproof your doors and windows.
It's important to get ahead of the winter weather and make sure your home is ready to handle the cold to come. Check your doors and windows closely for gaps and areas that may cause a draft. Use weatherstripping or caulk to seal them up, or consider replacing the windows or doors if the problem is severe enough.
4. Reverse Ceiling Fans
If you have ceiling fans , there should be a switch to make the fan blades run clockwise. Running the blades in a clockwise position during the colder months can push heated air down. This home maintenance task makes rooms with high ceilings more comfortable.
5. Clean Gutters
It is best to avoid having any unnecessary weight from frozen leaves. Emptying the leaves, dirt, and debris will decrease the risk of damage to your gutters and melted snow will drain properly. Also, remember to direct downspouts away from your home’s foundation to help prevent basement leaks and flooding.
6. Have the fireplace cleaned
Regular cleaning is a necessary safety measure for wood-burning fireplaces and wood stoves, since buildup of creosote (from past fires) inside the chimney can potentially cause a house fire. Gas fireplaces should be checked too — even though gas is a clean-burning fuel, there could be an old nest or other debris blocking the chimney.
7. Stop cold air from getting in.
Feel a cold breeze? Take action in early winter as soon as you notice a problem. Boost your home’s energy efficiency and stop cold air in its tracks with these tips from Dunleavy: Check and repair caulking around doors and windows and anywhere something penetrates a wall, like outside faucets and air vents.Check weatherstripping on doors and windows.Seal cracks in foundation walls.
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