Seven Tips on Preparing your Home for the Winter
With fall upon us, winter isn’t far behind. With time on your hands due to the virus, fall is a good time to begin thinking about getting your home ready to withstand the cold weather. Below are some helpful suggestions you can do now to prepare.
Have your home’s HVAC system checked
The last thing that you need is to have days without heat during the dead of winter. All mechanical devices have a shelf life. How long a HVAC systems lasts can directly relate to how they’re maintained.
Your first task is to replace all your filters. The second item on your list is to have your HVAC system inspected by a reputable contractor. It’s better to prevent potential problems than to incur costly repairs later. You also might look into acquiring an annual maintenance agreement so you don’t have to remind yourself every year.
Seal your concrete and asphalt surfaces
If you have a concrete patio, walkway or driveway, inspect them for cracks. Winter weather will just worsen deterioration. Fill those tracks with either concrete filler or sealer. Exterior flat surfaces occasionally will need concrete sealer to be applied.
In addition, if you haven’t had your asphalt driveway resealed in recent years, now may be the time. Do not wait too long into the fall season to reseal. Typically, the asphalt manufacturer’s instructions will give temperature guidelines for the best time to apply. Before sealing, patch any cracks as well.
Clean your gutters
Gutters can be a home maintenance nightmare. It is a thankless job, but it is actually important that it gets done. After all the leaves have fallen, you will want to begin. Cleaning your gutters mitigates the chance of water infiltration and damage to the exterior of your home and porches.
Test your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
A good rule of thumb is to check your smoke alarms when you turn back the clocks in early November. The obvious reason is the threat of fire during the winter season. Another significant concern is carbon monoxide. If you do not already have one, it is highly suggested by professionals that you should get one or two to put in strategic areas such as by gas fireplaces, as well as by your furnace and water heater.
Disconnect hoses drain outside faucets
It’s easy to overlook, but one maintenance chore that needs to be on your list is disconnecting hoses and draining waterlines. To do this, simply disconnect your hoses and then shut off the water valve to your outside spigot located inside your home. Then go back outside and untighten the exterior spigot valve to let the water drain from the line. If you do not do this, it may lead to split waterlines inside your basement or leaks to your outside faucets. Leave the water shut off until spring when temperatures are consistently above freezing.
Inspect your trees and branches
Fall is a good time to check trees and branches that surround your home and are adjacent to your property. If there are branches or limbs that could potentially cause harm to your home or down powerlines, it’s a good idea to trim them or hire a professional tree service to do the job. Ice-coated branches and limbs could cause costly damage to your siding, roof or windows, or create power outages, which could be otherwise preventable.