When you live in a part of the country that sees snow or freezing temperatures during the winter months, you’ll need to make sure to do some preventative maintenance and checks before the weather forces come in full swing. Below is a guide that will help you keep account of some of the most important things in preparing your home for the season.
Whether it gets below freezing or not during the winter, you need a reliable heating system to keep you, your family, and your home’s infrastructure happy. Heating systems tend to last from 12-15 years, so if you’re anywhere within this range, you’ll want to keep a close eye on yours. Make sure to change your air filter before the weather sets in. It’s also a good idea to get a specialist to inspect your system; the last thing you want is for your heat to malfunction in the middle of a snow storm, when no one can come out to fix it.
You may also have a handy natural heating system, like a fireplace. In this case, make sure to stock up on firewood, like oak, maple, breech, or elm. It’ll save you the costs associated with extensive heating system usage. As for the fireplace or furnace itself, you’ll want to make sure you get your chimney cleaned at once a year if you’re using it at least 3 times a week.
Prepare All Wood
Many homes utilize wood all over and inside of them. Aside from wood that is already pressure-treated or rot-resistant, such as on your deck or home exterior, it needs to be protected from the elements, which are especially pressing and harsh in the winter. Anywhere outside or close to outside of your home (such as wooden blinds, which still face exposure) that can take in a lot of moisture or face weathering need to be painted, caulked, and sealed.
Though cleaning your gutters may not seem so important for weather winter preparation, clogged gutters can become a silent but deadly issue. They can cause the water to overflow onto the exterior of your home, compromising its integrity. Perhaps even worse, it can cause water to seep into your basement. Flooded basements are some of the most complicated urgent home problems to deal with and can snowball into creating lots of other issues, so make sure to do everything you can to prevent this.
Fix Cracks, Leaks, and Other “Small” Problems
Many areas of a home can be opened to the outdoors, and any external openings lend themselves to being more susceptible to developing small cracks or leaks. Replace or touch up any weather stripping around doors, windows, and other openings. You should also make sure all pipes and ducts are hole-free, and to fix them otherwise. Relatedly, make sure to heat tape any pipes that are susceptible to leaking; a frozen pipe can lead to a lot of mess if it bursts.
If you’ve followed all of the steps above, your home should be in good shape for the season! You can get into your comfiest and warmest lounge clothing, light the fireplace, and sip hot cocoa in the peace of knowing your house is well-protected against the elements.