Winter Home Maintenance Tips

When the temperatures outside drop, stop and think what effect the colder weather could have on your home. There are many steps you can take inside and outside your home to help it better weather the colder months. Follow these steps, and you will be safe and comfortable during winter.

Safety check

  • Make sure your smoke detector has fresh batteries and that the fire extinguishers are fully charged.
  • Since your heating system will soon be getting a work out, you’ll need to change or replace filters and clean the vents. Now might be the time for a professional duct cleaning as well.
  • You’ll also want to have your chimney cleaned to prevent dangerous creosote build up.

Get the yard ready

  • Give the yard and gutters a thorough cleaning and move debris away from the perimeter of the house.
  • This is a good time to trim back the branches of shrubs and trees that are touching the house. You can reduce the damage from winter ice and snow storms, which often send tree limbs crashing through roofs, with some prevention now.
  • Make sure to keep up on your leaf raking so you don’t smother the new grass of cold-weather growers like fescue. Remove dead summer vegetables, flowers and perennial foliage and add to the compost pile, along with all those leaves.
  • It’s time to plant early spring bulbs and fertilize established beds. Weeding now can save you a lot of time next year. Dig up tender warm-weather bulbs that can’t make it through the winter and store them in a paper bag at in a dry cool place — 65 degrees F or cooler.

In and out of the shed

  •  Detach hoses for storage in the shed, and, since you won’t be using your sprinklers until the spring, check the system for leaks, drain it to prevent burst pipes and shut it down.
  • You’ll want to protect your outdoor furniture from winter weather too. Cover up or store items like seat cushions or umbrellas. Larger pieces and grills will need a waterproof cover.
  • Lots of things we keep in garden sheds won’t make it through a freeze, so be sure to remove paints, caulks and liquid materials to a warmer location, like a basement.

Check roof and windows

  •  Protect your roof by replacing any shingles that are loose or missing. To keep the weather from finding other ways inside your home, be sure to caulk any gaps around window or door frames.
  • It’s also time to remove screens and put up storm windows. Be sure to clean windows outside while you’re at it, and label the screens so you’ll have an easier time replacing them in the spring.
  • Your clean and checked chimney won’t do much good without the wood for a fire. So cover up the woodpile to keep it dry and make sure you have a supply of kindling ready to go.
  • Now you’re ready to sit back with a warm drink, the people you love and let the winter weather storm on in. 


Posted on February 1, 2011, in Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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