The season that many dread is just around the corner. Getting ready for subzero temperatures, ice, snow, and trying to stay warm is a daunting task. Winter weather and cold temperatures can cause major damage to your home (and roof) if you’re not prepared.
Here are some winter home maintenance tips to keep your house safe and warm all winter!
1. Check Your Gutters
With increased snow and rain in the winter, you will want to make sure your gutters and drainage are functioning properly. Damaged gutters and drainage can cause flooding, rotting, mildew, mold, and freezing. Gutters that are maintained help with the longevity of your roof. Clean your gutters to prevent clogging. Water sitting in improperly functioning gutters can freeze in the winter causing your gutters to expand and break, damaging your roof.
Clean your gutters by removing dirt, leaves, and other debris. Check your basement and foundation for flooding as well.
2. Clean and Inspect Window Wells
If you have a basement, check your window wells for damage. An often overlooked part of homes, window wells provide natural light into basements, aid in ventilation, and keep dirt and debris away from windows. Most issues caused by faulty window wells are caused by a ripped liner. Make sure the liner is in good shape before winter to prevent flooding and help maintain ventilation. You can also purchase window well covers.
3. Clean Dryer Vents
This goes beyond clearing the lint trap every time you finish drying a load of laundry. Dryers are more likely to be used in colder months, and a clogged dryer vent is a major fire hazard. Dryers are responsible for almost 17,000 house fires each year. These fires could be easily prevented by cleaning dyer vents.
Many people have not seen the inside of their dryer vents, or even know to clean it. To clean your dryer vent, loosen the clamps on the back of the dryer hose pull dryer away from the wall.
Using a dryer vent duct brush, twist the brush inside the hose until lint is removed. This will help bring down your electric bill by reducing drying time and prevent fires.
4. Check Windows and Door Seals
If you notice a gap or sunlight coming in from your door, it’s time for a new seal and weatherstripping. This will prevent drafts and water from coming into your home, causing further damage. Sealing doors and windows from drafts will also help with your utility bills by keeping heat in.
5. Prepare for Winter Storms
No other season requires as much maintenance and preparation than winter. Prepare ahead of time before you find yourself without winter essentials when you need them.
If you have a generator, make sure it is working. If not, get battery powered lanterns. It is also a good idea to keep a solar powered or battery operated phone charger in your home in case of a power outage.
Check to make sure you have enough snow-melting salt, a snow shovel, and window scrapers. Also check for any large limbs that might break off in the snow and fall onto your roof.