Winter is in full swing, and there are some things you will want to keep an eye on in your home to make sure everything is running smoothly. Here are 5 easy tips to follow when maintaining your home during the winter months:
Tip #1 – Check all of your windows and doors for any air leaks. You don’t want any cold drafts coming into the house this winter, so ensuring all the windows and doors are properly sealed will help keep utility costs down. An easy way to tell if you have a leak is to move a lighter or match around the window or door frame and see if the flame moves. If it does, then you have a leak. You may have to caulk the leak or replace the wood frame. If you are unable to fix the leak, you can go to any home improvement store and purchase a plastic sealing kit.
Tip #2 – If you have a fireplace, you should have it checked out by a professional before you start using it. It should also be cleaned out. Having this done on a yearly basis will prevent possible chimney fires. If your fireplace is a wood burning one, you’ll want to make sure you have enough wood cut and stacked in a convenient location to get you through the winter months.
Tip #3 – It’s time to check your snowblower and make sure it is in good condition. The very last thing you want is to find out your snowblower doesn’t work after you’ve had 16 inches of snow dumped in your driveway! Also, check to make sure your shovels are in good condition. If there are any cracks or breaks, you’ll want to get a new one.
Tip #4 – Protect your pipes! Pipes that are located in attics, basements, and near exterior walls are susceptible to freezing in the winter. If you can, add extra insulation around the pipes. If the forecast calls for extremely cold temperatures, let water drip out of the faucets to keep the water moving. Also, keep the vanity and cabinet doors under the sink open to allow warm air to circulate around the pipes.
Tip #5 – Throughout winter, clear any icicles that form along your roof line and eaves. These can be very dangerous when they start to melt, so removing them is very important. Also clear snow away from basement windows and the dryer exhaust vent throughout the winter months.
Tip #6 – Don’t neglect the outdoor work! You’ll want to trim back branches that are close to the house. Icy conditions can lead the branches to break, and if they are close to your house, they can easily damage it. Check the foundation of your house for any cracks or open spaces where mice and other small rodents could burrow in. They seek out the warmth of your house during winter, so make sure you properly seal up any openings.
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This post was written by Greg Drusch