Winter is here, and with the cold weather comes snow, ice, and winds. These conditions can damage your home if the property isn’t prepared. Here are some essential tasks for winter home maintenance homeowners should tackle before the first freeze occurs.
Tasks for Home Maintenance Before Winter Arrives
Examine Your Roof
Instead of climbing a ladder, stand safely on the ground and use binoculars to check your roof. Look for shingles that are missing, cracked, or curled. Note areas where the roof covering appears to be detached or damaged. Repairs will need to be made.
Examine the areas where flashings surround vent pipes and the chimney. Make sure they are intact and not rusting.
If you find an issue, call a professional to examine your roof and assess the severity of the problems. If repairs are needed, contact a roofing company to give an estimate and complete the repairs.
Check the Electrical System in Your Home
With chilly weather and longer periods of darkness, you don’t want electrical issues. Before the cold weather sets in, do a visual inspection of electrical cords, especially on space heaters.
Examine the power cords on your heaters to make sure they are in good condition. If you discover a frayed or damaged cord, do not use that appliance.
Winter Home Maintenance: Turn Off Exterior Faucets
To keep pipes leading to exterior faucets from freezing, garden hoses should be disconnected and any remaining water drained from the hose and the faucet.
After draining the faucet, close the shut-off valve in your home. If the water in the faucet or pipes freezes, it can cause the plumbing to burst, which is both costly and time-consuming to repair. Foam faucet covers may be used for added protection.
Ideally, you should have your HVAC system inspected for issues on a regular basis. Hire a professional to check the system and make sure everything is functioning as it should be before using the AC and again before using the heat.
Change the air filter to help the heating system operate efficiently. A new filter will keep the air moving and the HVAC unit won’t have to work as hard to heat your home.
Clean the outside of the unit and make sure there are no limbs or shrubs growing near the exterior unit. Finally, verify that the thermostat is operational before you actually need to use the system.
Clear Driveways and Walkways During Winter Home Maintenance
Clear snow and ice from the driveway and walkways to help prevent accidents. Shoveling the snow may not be sufficient. Use de-icer generously.
You can also use rock salt to help melt ice and gain traction, but keep in mind that it may damage the grass and masonry bricks. Consider using a natural substitute, such as gravel, instead.
Trim the Trees
Before winter weather arrives, check for dead or dying tree limbs and prune them. Snow or strong winds may blow damaged or weakened branches onto your roof, home, or driveway, causing costly damage and possibly even injury.