Fall is just around the corner, which means that we’ll be one step away before the winter holidays. One more step before we can enjoy making snow angels, snowmen, snowballs, drink hot chocolate, and celebrate Christmas, among other fun things to make our winter holidays more magical. But while all that sounds great, seldom anybody contributes enough time to maintain their houses in order to protect us from fallen tree limbs, drafts, or worse – ice dams.
Fortunately, nothing a little winter home maintenance checklist wouldn’t do to make your winter holidays more enjoyable. So we’ve taken the liberty of preparing one for you in the hopes that your humble winter home to ensure your spring cleaning turns out to be less of a hassle.
Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
1. Inspect the Drainage and the Gutters
Expect increased amounts of rainfall with the arrival of winter. We understand that cleaning your gutter isn’t necessarily fun, but it will eventually save you money when it comes to repairs and maintenance in the long run. Properly maintaining gutters won’t just reduce roof damage, but also lessen the chances of replacing them. If a gutter gets clogged up, it will overflow and eventually break, thereby causing more strain on the roof. Worse than that, the gutter will be filled with ice, resulting in thawing damage and strain the guttering. So to avoid this catastrophe, you need to clean the gutters out. First, place a ladder right by the drainage pipe at the side of your house, and have someone hold on to the ladder firmly. Use a small shovel to scoop out the dirt and then either toss it into a dust bin or a tarp. Then use the water hose to flush out the gutters completely.
2. Weatherproof Your Windows and Doors
Another valuable piece of winter home maintenance is to inspect your doors and windows for any gaps or spaces that may bring in a terrible chilly draft. You can either consider weather stripping, apply caulk to seal them up, or, if nothing else, consider replacing your doors and windows if the problem is too severe. Properly insulating your windows not only prevents the heat from the heater from escaping your household but also prevents your carved wooden furniture from suffering any damages.
3. Maintain Your Stairs
Here’s something you probably did or didn’t know about: if you fall or hurt yourself during winter, the pain is over 10 times worse than what you’re normally used to. The cold temperatures do have a habit of making our wooden stairs slippery, so it would behoove you to ensure they’re skid-proof. One way to get around this is to add skid-proof mats, especially if you have children or senior citizens living with you. Besides causing them to become a trip hazard, the dry winter temperatures can also result in our wooden staircase cracking. That’s why it’s essential to varnish them properly before winter hits. Such are the conditions in Toronto and if you’re thinking about buying a home there, then allow Paradise Developments to help you out.
4. Give Your Heating System a Check
This is one of the most important winter home maintenance tips that you need to keep in mind during winters. Every house comes with its own unique heating system, and that’s why you need to take into account certain measures to ensure yours is working the way you want it to. For instance, if you have a high-efficiency heating system, then you need to clear out the PVC vent pipes of any potential ‘clogging up’ debris. Those with a boiler system need to get their system cleaned out every year. And those were the gas-powered heating systems needed to have theirs cleaned out every 3 years.
5. Look into Your Emergency Supplies
You never know when a powerful winter storm might hit your home at some point during the cold season. Should you ever come across one, expect to face possible power outages. But before that happens, you need to prep yourself properly with flashlights, shelf-stable food items, fresh bottled water, a smartphone charger, first aid medical supplies, and a hand-crank radio.
6. Reprogram Your Ceiling Fans to Work in Reverse
By reprogramming your ceiling fans to function in reverse, you can keep the heat from your heating system grounded to your house’s bottom half. Some fans come with the ability to reverse their motor, and when operating at low speed during winters, homeowners can maintain a significant amount of warmth in their house. Apartment Therapy reports that running the fan as described above and adjusting the thermostat a bit can help us cut down 10% on heating costs. To put the fan in reverse, you can either adjust the remote control setting or find the fan motor’s exterior switch and adjust it manually.
7. Clean Your Fireplace
If you use a fireplace, then have it inspected and cleaned by a professional chimney sweep. This is a safety precaution that is required for wood stoves and wood-burning fireplaces as creosote buildup inside chimneys can lead to a potential house fire. Gas fireplaces need to be inspected as well. Despite gas being a clean-burning fuel, there may be a bird’s nest or other kinds of debris blocking the chimney’s smoke path.