Tuesday January 20, 2015
If you’re a first time homeowner, you’re probably not aware of all the little responsibilities that go along with winter maintenance of your home. Even for a long-time homeowner, the list always seems to grow. Here’s a quick snapshot of the top 10 things we recommend you do this winter.
- Test smoke alarms and carbon dioxide detectors. You never know when a big storm is going to hit, and the last thing you need is to run out of batteries for these necessities.
- Check your driveway. Small cracks can turn into big ones with snow, ice and changes in temperature. Fill cracks before the next big storm if you can.
- Change out furnace filters. You might think filters do the most work during the warmer months when windows are open, but they’re still working hard in the winter.
- While you’re down inspecting that furnace filter, take a look and see if it’s time to have a professional out to clean out the furnace and air ducts.
- Clean out your gutters. Leaves, debris, birds nests, wasp nests. It all piles up in your gutters and can really cause a problem when winter comes. Backups can cause melting snow to freeze and weigh down gutters, which can then end up on the ground.
- Clear out drains. Winter is a great time to clean out drains because if, for whatever reason, pipes freeze, you definitely want them to be clear of debris. Send ½ cup Baking Soda followed by ½ cup vinegar down each drain, wait 15 minutes and then pour boiling water down.
- Here’s one even a long-time homeowner probably isn’t doing: cleaning out refrigerator coils. Pull out your fridge and vacuum around the coils as best you can. This will save you some money on energy costs, and prolong the life of your fridge.
- Our skin tends to get very dry in the winter. Don’t forget to add salt (and stock up on it if you can) to your water softener. Your skin will love you.
- If the ground is still malleable enough, check and make sure the grading in your yard is favorable for drainage. Snow can pile up and make the situation worse, so fix it while you can.
- Save your outdoor pipes from bursting and remove those hoses. You can also buy winter guards for each spigot to ensure pipe safety.
Do you have any other tips for winter home maintenance? Share them in the comments!