Is your home winter ready?
“Weather” 😉 you like it or not, winter is coming, and you should consider getting your home ready for it.
The best way to protect your home is with regular maintenance and inspecting it to help prevent costly problems.
Whether you take care of these tasks all at once or tackle a few at once, it’s important to get into the habit of doing them regularly.
It would also be beneficial to take notes and pictures of anything you’d like to get expert advice on or to keep an eye on the situation moving forward.
Here’s a checklist to help guide you in keeping your home ready and healthy this winter (and all year long too):
For heat’s sake, have your furnace professionally serviced
HVAC professionals will get busy as homeowners realize that their furnace isn’t working this winter. Regular service will improve efficiency and reliability and stretch out your HVAC equipment’s lifespan.
Replace furnace filters every three months
Heat recovery ventilator filters should be checked and cleaned every two months.
Keep the cold air out and the warm air in!
Inspect all windows and caulk if needed. Dry, cracked caulking provides an insufficient barrier from the elements, making your home susceptible to drafts, making your furnace work over time, and water penetration, which could cause extensive damage.
Weather seals around doors are very easy to replace and should be replaced every seven to 10 years, depending on varying factors. Look at yours and inspect for cracked, dried material, and inspect seals when the doors are closed to see if there’s any light coming through; a simple door adjustment could provide a more solid seal.
Paint, caulk and or seal exterior wood
Exterior wood, especially those areas close to the ground, will rot with prolonged exposure to moisture. An annual or bi-annual coating of paint keeps the wood protected.
Clean your gutters and have your roof inspected
The roof, gutters and attic are often neglected, and also areas that can cause severe damage. Check on them regularly and perform preventative maintenance as you see loose shingles, missing shingles, detaching eaves and signs of water penetration in the attic.
Water downspouts should extend approximately half the distance that the basement foundation is below ground. For example, if your poured concrete foundation extends below the ground seven feet, your downspout should eject water 3.5-feet away from the building.
Avoid frozen pipes by closing internal water shut-off valves
Water damage is among insurance companies’ worst enemies. Ensure you close the hose bib valves inside or use frost-free hose bibs.
Winterize your Irrigation System
Drain and blow out your lawn-irrigation system. Some home irrigation systems, especially small drip-line systems, can be blown out using most portable compressors, but larger irrigation systems will require large compressors that most homeowners don’t often have. Alternatively, companies exist where they use a compressor on their truck or trailer to blow out the lines completely.
Avoidable injuries and deaths make the news every winter. Whether it’s CO, the “Silent Killer,” or fire and smoke, replacing the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors saves lives. Be sure to test them regularly too.
It’s that time of the year when you flip the switch on your humidifier from Summer to Winter. Good air quality in the home will contribute to improved health, less illness among occupants and a far more comfortable living environment.
Have your chimney cleaned and inspected before putting it to use … when was the last time you did this? Chimney fires are uncontrollable once they start. If you’ve never had your chimney inspected, get a WETT inspection to ensure it’s in working order.
As we enter a wetter season, your sump pump is going to be put to the test. Lift the float or plug the pump into the wall to turn it on and ensure it’s functioning. Consider a battery backup too.
If you don’t feel comfortable performing some home maintenance tasks, you may want to call a professional, and that’s OK too! 😉