With winter in full swing in New England, you may be realizing there were some things you should’ve done at the beginning of winter to prepare. This winter is proving to be a cold one, so check out this list of winter home maintenance to make sure your home is protected.
5 Winter Home Maintenance Tips
Seal Leaky Windows and Doors
When you lock your doors and windows is there a gap between the seals? Can you feel cold air even though everything is shut?
Having a gap between the seals on doors and windows is a great way to lose heat in the winter and let cold air into your home. There are several easy fixes to stop this from happening.
For windows, all you need to do is add weatherstripping. There are several different kinds, so go to your local hardware store to check out what kind works best for you. For doors, you can add adhesive backed foam tape, tubular rubber, or felt.
Weatherproof Exterior Pipes
Freezing temperatures can pose lots of problems for homes. Frozen pipes can crack and lead to serious structural problems if water is leaking from those pipes.
Go around to all your exterior pipes and check for areas of leaks. These areas would have moisture around them. Before it gets too cold you want to shut off external pipes from the main and drain the pipes completely. This will prevent pipes from freezing.
To add more protection to your pipes you can add insulating tape around your pipes. This will keep the pipes warmer and prevent cracking from freezing temps.
Keep an Eye on Your Gutters
Clogged gutters that are weighed down by debris will only become heavier as rain freezes and snowfalls. If they are not cleared out in the fall, heavy gutters can cause damage to the roof or need replacement.
Fall in New England can leave lots of debris in your gutters, and getting them cleaned before the snow flies is important. But that isn’t where gutter maintenance stops.
If you take the time to keep an eye on your gutters and maintain them throughout the winter as needed as well, it will prevent expensive damage and replacement in the long run. Make sure to clear away excess snow as it builds up to prevent ice dams as well.
Making sure your gutters drain away from the home is also extremely important. If there are signs of mildew or water damage in sections of your home near gutter drains this can be a sign that drainage is not going far enough away from the house.
Keep Your Furnace Maintained So It’s in Top-Working Order
The last thing you want in the middle of winter is for your heating system to stop working. No heat can mean you are cold in your home but can also mean interior pipes are at more risk for freezing and cracking.
Different systems have different requirements for cleaning and maintenance. Make sure you are keeping up with both. Check your service tags or records before winter each year to make sure you aren’t missing anything. Also, check your filters and change them as needed.
If your heating system connects to your chimney you want to make sure that it is cleaned and damage-free before you use it.
Keep Your Emergency Supplies Stocked Up
Losing power in the winter in New England is a pain but it is a common occurrence. To make it a little less stressful when it happens, have emergency supplies ready.
Make sure you have plenty of blankets, flashlights, appropriate clothing, non-perishable food, water, and portable phone chargers. Also, try to have games or books ready so you have things to do during the power outage.
If you get a warm day this winter and haven’t thought to check on or do these things, try to! These are all preventative measures that can save you from very expensive problems. If you’ve already done your winter maintenance, save this list for next year!
Stay tuned in to our blog for other home maintenance tips and all of the home care needs you need to know!