As the weather gets colder, it’s important to winterize your property to prevent damage from harsh weather conditions. While this may be a daunting task for some, there are simple preparations that will save time and money in the long run. This winter home maintenance checklist looks at some of the most important tasks to complete so that your property is ready for cooler temperatures.
A Proactive Approach to Winterizing Your Home
Prevent Pipes from Freezing
Water expands as it freezes and, if left unchecked, can cause burst pipes and flooding in your home. Install insulation on pipes that pass through unheated areas, such as attics and crawl spaces. Before the cold winter sets in, turn off and drain the outside faucets.
Winter Home Maintenance: Install Storm Doors and Windows
Storm doors and windows are an easy way to give your home additional protection from the elements. You probably already weather-seal your doors and windows, but there’s also the option of adding storm doors and windows for more insulation against the cold. If you live in a region that experiences extremely chilly temperatures, this is an excellent addition to your winter preparations.
Reverse Ceiling Fan Blades During Winter Home Maintenance
If you have ceiling fans in your house, change the blade rotation with the seasons to boost energy efficiency. In warmer months, ceiling fan blades should spin counterclockwise to create a windchill effect. In the winter, rotating the blades to a clockwise direction on the lowest setting pushes the warm air back down into the room. This helps keep your house warmer without increasing the temperature on your thermostat.
Protect Entryway Flooring
Entrance floors can take a beating from tracked-in snow, ice, road salt, and sand in the winter. Use floor mats both inside and outside each door to extend the life of your flooring. For clearing snow from shoes, provide a boot scraper or brush outside and a waterproof tray inside for storing wet footwear.
Trim Low-Hanging Branches as Part of Your Winter Home Maintenance
The trees surrounding your property can cause damage to your home and cause you to lose electricity in bad weather. After a storm, the weight of snow can snap branches or bring a tree down on your home or power lines. Have the health of your trees evaluated and remove any dead or weak branches from your property.
Insulate the Water Heater
The hot water in a tank can quickly cool off during the winter, forcing the boiler to operate more frequently to reheat it. To reduce your energy usage, wrap an insulating cover around your water heater.
Regular maintenance on your water heater will keep it functioning efficiently and extend its lifespan. Empty the water heater once a year to drain sediment from the tank.
Purchase Ice-Melting Compounds
Ice melt, salt, and sand are all suitable for helping to clear snow from sidewalks and the driveway. Keep the driveway and walkways free of snow and ice to make it easier and safer to navigate your property. Keep shoveling throughout the season to minimize snow accumulation.