No one wants their holidays interrupted by a terrible leak or sudden home repairs, so now’s the time to prepare for winter. Here’s our handy home maintenance checklist to get you started. That way, you and your home will be ready for the holiday season.
Weatherproof and Check Your Roof
While winter in our corner of the Pacific Northwest tends to be milder than in many other parts of the country, we’ve still seen some surprising winter storms in recent years. Ice and snow melt can create various expensive problems, such as frozen pipes and major moisture and water damage. Check the weatherproofing around your home’s windows and doors. Make sure to caulk and seal any tiny cracks. By doing so, you can increase your energy savings from 5% to 30%.
Clean out your gutters now so that they’re free from leaves and other debris. Also, make sure your downspouts point away from the foundation.
If you can safely check your roof, do so. If not, hire a professional. Look for any damage and assess for any possible repairs now so that you’re paying for preventative maintenance instead of a serious issue down the road.
Ensure Your Pipes are Protected
All of your home’s interior pipes should be wrapped and insulated to prevent freezing. Burst or cracked pipes can cause serious water damage, so it’s best to prevent a water damage emergency now. If you have a waterfront home that serves as a getaway, we suggest keeping your heat on at a minimum of 55 degrees to keep your pipes in good working order.
Don’t Wait if You See Something
If you see an issue such as discoloration on the ceiling, investigate it now. You could have a potential leak on your hands. Addressing it now can save a lot of time, money, and stress down the road.
Clean Your Chimney and Fireplace
Nothing says winter like a cozy evening around the fire, but now’s the time to make sure your chimney and fireplace are safe and ready for use. Most importantly, to prevent fires and carbon monoxide poisoning, hire a professional to inspect your chimney and have it cleaned. In fact, the Chimney Safety Institute of America recommends having your chimney inspected once a year to make sure there aren’t any critters, and to clear away any debris. If you have a gas fireplace, a professional can also check your gas line and vents. And remember, close the fireplace damper when it’s not in use to keep out drafts.
Prepare for a Winter Storm
You never know what this winter will bring, so make sure you have extra supplies on hand like bottled water, flashlights, batteries, some non-perishable food, and firewood. If you don’t already have an emergency kit, it’s easy to put one together. Along with that, you should have a family evacuation plan. Check out this winter storm preparation list, which includes checking fire and carbon monoxide alarms. It’s always best to be over-prepared instead of under-prepared. That way, you can enjoy the holidays without any lingering concerns or unchecked items on your home maintenance to-do list.