Winter can be the most fun-filled season of the year, particularly if you get your home ready before the cold temperatures arrive. Taking some time out of your busy schedule for pre-winter home maintenance will make sure your home is ready for some of the harshest months of the year, so you can stay warm and toasty all season long. Here is your home maintenance checklist for the winter that will keep your home protected regardless of the outside weather.
Get Ready to Curl Up by a Fire
Sitting by a warm, crackling fire is one of the best ways to spend a chilly winter day. Before you can light your first fire of the season, you need to make sure your fireplace is up to the task. Your home’s chimney can accumulate a significant amount of dirt and debris during the months when it isn’t in use, and this debris can pose a fire hazard. If you plan to use your fireplace this winter, hire a chimney sweep to clean your chimney, so it’s ready for the cold season.
Keep Those Pipes Warm
Big temperature drops are the most important thing to keep in mind when you’re getting your home ready for winter. When the thermometer starts dropping, several areas of your home can be impacted, including the pipes in your plumbing system.
Freezing temperatures can be a big problem for the pipes in your home, creating the potential to cause your pipes to burst if you don’t take the proper precautions. Luckily, protecting your pipes from the winter cold isn’t as difficult as you might think. Just like you would bundle up your kids before heading out into the cold, you can wrap up your pipes to protect them from freezing.
Adding insulation to your pipes can help keep them safe during the winter. In particular, pipes in unheated portions of your home, such as in an unfinished basement, need extra insulation. It’s also important that you make sure all outdoor faucets are turned off and that there are no hoses attached. Finally, make sure the temperature in your house is always above 55 degrees, so neither you nor your pipes will freeze.
Prepare Your Trees for Storms
Watching the snow fall from inside your warm home can be a lot of fun, and if you want the fun to last, you need to be certain your house is ready to stand up to winter storms. Light snowfall isn’t a problem for most homes, but if the snow becomes heavy or changes to ice, it can put a good amount of stress on your home. Fortunately, with a little prep work, you can get your home ready for winter storms, so you can enjoy watching the winter wonderland.
First, you need to walk around your property and inspect your trees. When there is a heavy snow or ice storm, the precipitation can weigh down the branches on your trees, possibly causing them to break. If there are trees near your home, it isn’t hard to imagine how these falling branches could end up landing on your roof. Cut back branches that may fall on your home, and you’ll be able to stay relaxed during a storm.
After the snowstorm has ended, you can take some stress off your trees by clearing some snow. All you need to do is take a broom, reach up, and knock some snow off those branches. Clearing snow after a storm can take some weight off your tree branches and lower the risk of them breaking.
Stay Safe and Sound During Storms
Power outages can be aggravating, but they do happen, particularly during a winter storm. While you’re getting your house ready for the winter, you should also stock up on some supplies, so your family will be safe and content if and when the lights go out.
In your winter survival kit, you should pack a few essential items. Load up on nonperishable food items and bottled water, and make sure you have a basic first-aid kit. A smartphone charger will make sure you can stay in touch with your friends and family, and it will also help your kids from going stir-crazy.
Check Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
Fire is a big winter safety hazard, which is why it’s important that you make sure your smoke detectors are in working order before the cold season arrives. Check the batteries in all your home’s smoke detectors so you’ll know they’ll work when you need them. Performing a battery check once a month should help your family stay safe.
In addition to your smoke detectors, make sure the batteries in your carbon monoxide detectors are fully charged. If you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector, install one before winter arrives.
Make Sure You Can Stay Warm
Winter can be the most enjoyable time of the year, provided you’re able to stay warm. If you can’t stand the cold, then you need to be certain your home will be warm and toasty throughout the winter. To start with, you should have your heating system professionally serviced to make sure it will work when you need it the most. A prewinter heating system inspection will let you fix any problems, so you won’t have to hide under blankets all winter.
Checking the insulation in your attic is also key in staying comfortable during the winter. Warm air rises, and if your attic doesn’t have enough insulation, copious warm air will escape your home, keeping you from being as warm as you deserve. Adding a little insulation will keep your home warmer and will help you save money on your energy bills.
If you want to have the most enjoyable winter possible, you need to make sure your home is ready for the cold weather that comes with this season. Completing all the items on your winter home maintenance checklist will help your house stand strong, so you can be happy and comfortable until the weather turns warm again.