Whether you love the season or not, winter is coming, and the best way to survive it is to be prepared. Maintaining and prepping your home for the cold will keep you and your family cozy and safe throughout winter. Below, we have listed some of the most important things to address when doing winter home maintenance.
Inspect Your Drainage
Drainage is important to preserve your foundations and keep unwanted ice from forming over your sidewalks and driveway. Before the winter season, be sure to clean your roof and gutters to get rid of blockages. Leaves and debris will hold water and freeze.
This can cause a lot of damage to your gutters and property. Clogged gutters won’t properly direct water away from your home and foundation. You may see ice dams or a thin layer of ice forming around your home in freezing temperatures, creating a slippery and dangerous surface.
If you manually clear snow or ice from your driveway, dress appropriately for the conditions outside and work slowly in order to prevent slipping and injuring yourself. Stocking up on salt and ice melts will make this a lot easier throughout the winter season.
Protect Outdoor Appliances and Furniture
Cover and protect any outdoor fixed appliances that will not be used throughout the cold months of the year, like grills, fans, and other devices.
Store your outdoor furniture elsewhere to prevent unnecessary damage. If your furniture cannot be moved to a sheltered space in a shed or garage, try your best to adequately cover and protect it from the cold.
In addition to appliances and furniture, be sure to disconnect and drain any outdoor garden hoses. These can freeze and burst in cold weather. Be sure to also switch off all outdoor water supplies as an extra precaution to protect your pipes.
Pruning fragile branches around your home will help prevent them from causing damage to your roof during harsh weather. This is an especially important task if they are close to windows, glass doors, or hanging over your roof or chimney.
Interior Winter Home Maintenance
In addition to the exterior maintenance and preparations, make sure your home is sufficiently insulated. Check for gaps near doors and windows and around your plumbing. Insulating your plumbing is important to keep your pipes from freezing and cracking in the cold.
Regular maintenance should be done on your home’s heating systems. Have your fireplace professionally cleaned and inspected for any cracks or damage before lighting your first fire of the season. Have all your fireplace tools ready to go and store a fire extinguisher nearby just in case.
Winter Home Maintenance For Emergencies
Lastly, consider having an emergency kit handy in case of a severe weather event or temporary blackout. If you do not have a backup generator, stock up on flashlights, batteries, blankets, warm clothes, emergency food, and water.