With the onset of colder temperatures, frozen windshields, and talk of snow, it’s time to take a look at some things that should be done annually to winterize your home for the upcoming season. Before hunkering down and hibernating through the winter, here are some essential home maintenance tasks to be completed… so make a list and check it twice (‘tis the season).
With the impending arrival of the big guy in the red suit, you need to make sure his path down the chimney is free from creosote build up (a fire hazard), leaves or debris, and any possible critters that have taken up residence. This is a job best left to a professional chimney sweep once a year.
Cold air comes in and warm air leaks out through old, cracked, inefficient weather stripping around doors and windows. Check the caulking, and replace any that looks worn with new, moisture-repelling caulking. This will help to reduce your heating bills as the warm air you pay for stays inside where you want it!
After the trees surrounding your house have finished their shedding of leaves, you’ll want to clean out your gutters and repair any areas that need it. This is a doable DIY job, with plenty of online tutorials for some tips.
Outside Living Space
It’s time to clean and store the deck or patio furniture, cover the grill, and any other decorative or seasonal summer outdoor décor should get packed away. With downpours and high winds, nothing should be left out that isn’t weatherproof and secured. While you’re packing things away, check your deck and drive way as well; a good cleaning to any decks is recommended, as is repairing any cracks to your driveway.
Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors
If you missed checking them at the fall time change (a good rule of thumb is to check and test batteries in the spring and fall), now is a good time to replace batteries and test to make sure they’re working properly in all smoke and carbon dioxide detectors in your home.
Exposed Water Pipes
To prevent burst pipes during the freezing temperatures, make sure to wrap all exposed pipes and faucets with weather-resistant, insulated covers for the duration of the winter season.