Taking care of a house requires year-round maintenance. However, during winter, your home may need extra attention. Follow these tips to get your home ready for chiller winter days.
Foundation problems are something that can really decrease the value of your home. In most cases, it is safe to live in a house with foundation problems. Some common causes of foundation problems include tree roots, heavy soil pressing against your foundation walls, poor initial construction, the age of your foundation, settling from the weight of your home on the foundation, deterioration due to time, shrinkage from the curing of concrete, and more.
1. Get Your Heating System In Order
When temperatures start to drop, you want your HVAC unit to function properly. The maintenance required depends on the type of system you have. If you have a high-efficiency model, you must clear debris from the pipes. Also, if you have a boiler, that needs to be cleaned out, too.
You must also remove the chamber combustion from your furnace. Then, turn off the power switch and vacuum the burners. You also want to remove the blower blades and clean them with a small brush. Keep in mind you should change the filters every three months to keep the system in top shape.
2. Examine Your Fireplace And Chimney
Your fireplace is the perfect spot for cozying up with a cup of hot chocolate, so have a professional clean it out in the fall. Also, clear any old pieces of wood or debris from the fireplace. This will keep your home warm and reduce fire hazards. Be sure to also check for any cracks in the structure.
Be sure to close the fireplace flue when you’re not using it. This can help reduce drafts. During the winter, the warm air inside your home is pushed up the chimney and escapes. This can make the room colder and waste energy. By preventing drafts, you can also save money on your electricity bill.
3. Protect Your Pipes From the Cold
When temperatures begin to lower, water inside the pipes freezes and expands. This could lead to a burst pipe. Insulating them can help protect them from damage. You should also insulate any areas of your home that are not heated. Common areas may include your garage or basement.
Before insulation, remove any dirt from the pipes and make sure they’re completely dry. You can use a variety of different methods, such as pipe-wrap insulation or foam pipe sleeves. Also, be sure to disconnect your garden house from your faucet.
4. Prevent Air Leaks
During the fall, check your door and windows for any signs of cracks or gaps. This can cause air to escape your home. The leaks can lower your house’s temperature, causing you to crank up the heater. Constantly running your heating system can increase your electric bills.
Add weatherstripping around your windows and doors to prevent air leaks. Also, use caulk to fill any holes. When you’re weatherstripping, you’ll need to seal the sides and top of the door first. Then add a sweep to the bottom. The strips come in a variety of materials, but consider using silicone, which is a soft and durable option.
5. Prepare Your Garage
Your garage door requires seasonal maintenance. However, in the winter months, it may need more attention. This is because it is vulnerable to snow and ice damage. It’s vital to check its balance because an uneven entry can put a strain on the opener.
To check the balance, disconnect the door from the opener and run it up and down a few times. Make sure nothing is obstructing its path. You can do this yourself, but consider hiring a professional to ensure your safety.
Also, remember to clean and inspect your door’s surface regularly. This can prevent dirt from building up and increase the lifespan of your door. Use a brush and soap, and keep an eye out for any chips or cracks.
6. Keep Your Entryways Safe
Your entryways often accumulate water during the winter. Family members and guests may track in melted snow and ice. This moisture can seep into the floor and lead to mold growth, so place floor mats inside and outside your doors.
Also, consider having a designated area for wet shoes and jackets. Try to keep damp sneakers off the floor to prevent any long-term damage. Consider using a cooling rack with a tray underneath to store your boots. Also, use labeled metal buckets to store hats and gloves.
7. Look Over Your Roof
Your roof is a key structural component of your home. However, during the winter, it is vulnerable to damage. Heavy snowfall adds pressure, and melted snow can leak into your home. That’s why it’s important to examine it during the fall and check for any cracked or missing shingles. Also, keep an eye out for any masses of moss or lichen.
While inspecting your roof, take a look at the chimney cap and make sure it isn’t damaged. If you notice any issues, call a professional and get them repaired as soon as possible. Once you’re done reviewing the roof, clean out the gutters. This will prevent water from accumulating and freezing over during the winter months.
How to Get Your Home Ready for Winter
As the temperature starts to drop, you want to ensure your home is ready. This often means performing routine maintenance tasks, so keep these in mind as winter approaches.