Winter is here! Officially it starts December 21st with the Winter Solstice, but we have already had our first snow! Being proactive with your home maintenance can go a long way when the temperatures are dropping. Here are a few things to take care of around your home for the cold weather:
Outdoor Home Maintenance:
- If you have a fireplace, make sure you have fuel stored.
- Make sure any firewood is stored at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Check your roof for any holes or cracks that may need to be repaired.
- Remove screens from windows and install storm windows.
- Check for ice-dam formations in gutters (only when safe to do so).
- Consider purchasing a roof rake to clear extra snow off your roof if it gets too deep. Typically, a roof can tolerate up to 4 feet of new snow before becoming stressed according to the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IIBHS). However, keep in mind the following: 1 inch of ice is equal to 1 foot of fresh snow in water weight and equals 5 lbs. per square foot of roof space.
- Have a floor mat outside your doorway and a boot scraper or brush to clean off excess snow from getting on your interior flooring.
- Inspect your exterior for gaps that mice may come in. Use hardware cloth over exterior vents, and door sweeps on exterior doors.
- Purchase supplies such as snow shoves, ice scrapers and ice melt. Have some supplies in your car to help in case you get stuck such as a small foldable shovel, and sand or kitty litter to use under tires for traction.
- Store or cover your outdoor furniture and grills.
- And just because birds need help too in cold weather – have a bird feeder and consider providing a water source for our feathered friends.
Indoor Home Maintenance:
- If you haven’t already, have your heating system inspected.
- Familiarize family members with water and gas mains and other appliance valves.
- Make sure all electrical holiday decorations have tight connections.
- Test all AFCI and GFCI devices.
- Check your pressure in the water heater thank and remove sediment that may have collected and that could compromise performance.
- Review emergency escape plan with all members living in the home.
- Clean and inspect smoke detector/carbon-monoxide detectors. Replace batteries if needed.
- Inspect your pipes for signs of leaks or drips.
- Clean and inspect your humidifiers.
- Clean refrigerator condenser coils, drip pan, and check door seals. Change water filter if necessary.
- Check your window weatherproofing such as caulking that may need repair or replacing.
- Check for leaks/drafts around windows, doors, mail chutes, air conditions, plumbing, electrical and gas lines.
- Have a floor mat inside your doorways coming from the outside as well as a waterproof tray for placing wet boots or shoes. This will help protect your interior flooring.
- Dust and vacuum your heating grates, radiators, and baseboard heaters.
So slip on your boots and take care of your home maintenance before the snow falls and stays! What’s your least favorite chore of these?
As always, thanks for reading and we welcome any additional information or comments you may have.