Is Your Home Ready for the Winter? Whether we like it or not, the temperatures are slowly dropping and, within in a few short months, winter will be here! Being a homeowner means there’s certain maintenance required throughout the year to keep your home in high functioning shape. When it comes to winter prep work, the time and care you take now means keeping you warm and safe during cold months ahead.
Not sure where to start? Read on for our Winter Home Maintenance Checklist.
____ Furnace. It’s important to make sure you have your furnace inspected prior to turning it on for the first time in the fall. To ensure timely service prior to the cold temperatures, schedule an appointment now with a licensed HVAC specialist. Don’t forget to replace your furnace filter every 60-90 days to ensure proper air flow through your system.
____ Humidifier. If your home has a humidifier, it needs to be cleaned and disinfected to prevent the spread of bacteria and mold into the air of your home.
____ Chimney/Fireplace. Everyone loves a cozy fire in their fireplace, but creosote build up can ignite and cause chimney fires, which is why it is necessary to have your chimney and fireplace inspected yearly! Don’t forget to stock up on firewood if you have a wood burning fireplace.
____ Change Smoke Detector Batteries. Sunday October 4 starts fire prevention week, so what better time to change the batteries in your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors. It is recommended that the batteries in your smoke detectors be replaced every 6 months and to replace the unit itself every 10 years. Now is also a good time to check on your fire extinguishers as well. The National Fire Protection Association recommends you make sure the extinguishers are accessible, check the pressure gauges, make sure they are full, and look for damage.
____ Windows & Doors. If you have older windows in your home, it may be necessary to swap out the screens for storm windows prior to the cold weather. Also check for any failing weather stripping or caulking and have it replaced. Don’t forget about your garage door’s weather stripping!
____ Gutters/Roof. Proper drainage of water through your gutters is integral to keeping your foundation in good shape and water away from your home. Make sure your gutters and downspouts are connected and clear of any leaves or debris. When it comes to your roof, schedule an appointment with a licensed roofer to examine your roof for any repairs that need to be done.
____ Basement/Crawl Space Windows. Examine all basement windows for any cracks in the glass and make sure they close and seal properly. Keep window wells clean of debris as well. If your house has a crawl space, make sure to close the crawl space vents to keep cold air from circulating under the floor of your home.
____ Outdoor water faucets. Unhook garden hoses from your outdoor faucets and make sure the water is drained from the lines. You can store them in the garage or shed until Spring.
____ Tree Limbs & Branches. Winter in the Midwest usually consists of snow and ice. One thing that can cause power outages or roof damage in the winter is snow or ice buildup on tree limbs and branches which cause them to fall on power lines or the roof of your home. Schedule an appointment with a tree company to have necessary tree limbs or branches trimmed back away from power lines and your home to prevent them from causing damage during any potential winter storms.
____ Fertilize & Aerate your lawn. Want a beautiful lawn in the Spring? Fall is the time to prepare. Aerating, over seeding and fertilizing your yard in the fall can give way to a lush, gorgeous, emerald landscape in the Spring. Aerators can be rented from local rental stores for a small fee or many lawn companies also offer the service.
____ Outdoor Equipment. Prepare your summer lawn equipment, such as your lawn mower and weed eater, for winter storage. Review the owner’s manuals for specific steps to take to properly winterize & store the equipment. Living in the Midwest many of us have snow blowers, and now is the time to get them out and make sure they are working correctly. Schedule any maintenance work that is required so that when the first snow comes, you’ll be prepared.
Although the temperature currently hover around 80 in mid-September, the cooler temperatures are on the horizon. Take steps now to prepare your home for the brisk months ahead so that you can relax and stay cozy by the crackling fire this winter.