Winter Weather Home Maintenance Tips
Article by Dennis Kane at Winterize Guys
Image courtesy of Unsplash
Winter is a time to curl up in an overstuffed armchair and read thrilling books by the fireplace. But this is only possible when you have taken care of a few important tasks ahead of time. Take these steps from Barkley Properties before the cold sets in so you can relax when the world turns frosty.
Remove/Protect Air Conditioning Units
If you have any window air conditioners, it's time to pull them and put them in storage until the warm season returns. This allows you to shut your windows, preventing cold air from slipping through the cracks of the AC unit and its frame.
For those with central air conditioning, you may want to place a piece of plywood over the outdoor condenser unit for protection; place a few heavy bricks on the plywood to keep it in place. Avoid wrapping the condenser unit with plastic, as this traps moisture inside and causes damaging rust. The unit was designed to be outside, so don't worry too much about it.
Clean Your Heating System
Whether you use a gas furnace, boiler system, wood stove, or fireplace, Popular Mechanics points out that it's time to get your heating system ready for operation before the snow flies. This may include changing filters, sweeping chimneys, and even calling a professional to service your equipment.
Now is also a good time to make sure that your carbon monoxide detectors are working properly, and replace any that are not.
Drafty Doors and Windows?
You'd be surprised how much cold air comes through doors and windows (yes, even when they're shut). You can minimize the airflow and save on your energy bill by taking some extra measures to seal the edges.
Weatherstripping can wear out over time; if it is dry-rotted, breaking off, or is so smashed that it no longer does its job, replace it. Putting a fresh seam of caulk around windows can help as well.
Repair the Roof and Clean the Gutters
The winter season can bring on a lot of moisture and precipitation, so be sure your roof is in tip-top condition. Damaged shingles and flashing can allow freeze-thaw cycles to wreak havoc on your roof, so repair or replace any areas of deterioration.
Since autumn is prone to filling gutters with leafy debris, it's a good idea to make sure the gutters are thoroughly cleaned out before a heavy snowfall arrives. As Dry Home Roofing & Siding explains, having clean gutters will help prevent icicles from forming on the roof, not to mention avoiding ice dams.
Insulate Exposed Pipes
If you have any pipes that will be exposed to frigid temperatures (even if they are indoors), now is a good time to insulate them. Fiberglass or foil insulation is recommended, and be sure to clean the surface of the pipes so the insulation sticks well. Frozen pipes are a big hassle; prevention here is key.
Plan for Ice and Snow
Stock up on your salt and ice melt now, so it's not sold out when you need it most. Have some basic needs set aside in case of a power outage, and consider purchasing a small generator for emergencies.
Now is also a good time to clean up your yard. Put tools away, and anything else that might be a tripping hazard later. Also, if there are any branches in your yard that are hanging low or that could cause damage if they broke, have them trimmed or cut down to prevent problems in the event of an ice storm or snowfall.
Home-Based Business? Keep Your Receipts
Anyone who runs a business from their home understands the benefits of the home office deductions come tax time. However, some of your winter maintenance and repair efforts could easily be considered deductions. Your tax advisor can clarify anything that’s eligible, so remember to keep receipts for anything you have
Cozy and Warm
With your home all set, you’ll have peace of mind when the first flakes fall. Now you can pick up that neglected book, curl up by the crackling fireplace, and sip some creamy hot cocoa. You’ve done all you can do, so let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
Whether you’re looking to rent, buy, sell or vacation, Barkley Properties is here to help! Call or check out our site to find out more!