Winter can be the most enjoyable time of year, but it can also prove to be the most challenging and even dangerous for your house if it isn’t maintained well. Before you can enjoy all the festivities winter has to offer, you should complete your winter maintenance checklist and revisit it during the chilly months.
1. CHECK YOUR ROOF
When the snow starts falling, climbing on your roof becomes a hazard. While you should have your roof inspected by a professional before the first ice of winter sets in to detect any problems, you can’t always do that in the wintertime unless you live in a climate without much snow.
Instead of climbing on top of your roof and risking your safety, simply look at your roof. If you had it inspected, you should feel worry-free over any underlying issues. Still, checking on your roof just by sight might alert you to whether there is a problem caused by the weight of the snow and ice.
2. REPLACE WEATHERSTRIPPING
Weatherstripping serves as a barrier between the cold and the inside of your home. You can insulate your doors and windows better by replacing old, tired weatherstripping with a new set. Doing so ensures your windows and doors are energy-efficient by allowing your heat to stay in the house and not escape through gaps and cracks. You might find that your energy bill is nearly 10% less expensive when using new, effective weatherstripping.
3. WATCH YOUR GUTTERS
You should always clean out your gutters before winter comes. They might be clogged with the fallen leaves of autumn, leading to issues with drainage. When snow and ice pack into your gutters, they’ll dam them up further.
When they melt and refreeze, you may find issues with your gutters warping or breaking. Worse, if your gutters become damaged to a certain degree, they may not be able to keep melting ice and water from the foundation of your home, meaning you might risk a structural issue.
4. SHOVEL AWAY SNOW
Snow and ice can damage unprotected outdoor areas around your home. Things such as wooden decks can only hold around 50 pounds of snow, so you must be vigilant about clearing it off so it doesn’t end up damaging your outside relaxation spaces. To clear your deck of snow, consider using a plastic shovel rather than a tougher one that may damage the wood.
A metal shovel is best on your driveway because it will give you the power you need to clear the snow. You’ll want to shovel your driveway whenever snow appears so that you can drive freely. If the ice isn’t taken care of and is instead allowed to melt, your driveway could crack when it refreezes.
5. CLEAN YOUR FIREPLACE
Before you start up your first fire of the season, consider cleaning out your fireplace and chimney. After months of disuse, they’re bound to be dirty and should be treated before you start a fire. Chimney fires are incredibly explosive and can even damage the structure of your chimney, posing additional risk to your home and household.
Keeping up with routine maintenance can take some of the anxiety out of operating your fireplace for the first time all season.
KEEP YOUR HOME SAFE ALL WINTER LONG
By knowing what dangers to look out for, you can prevent a disaster from occurring inside your home. Consider checking on your home before the winter months roll in, then check on things you replaced or recently dealt with every month after that. While it may take some time and effort to maintain your home in the winter, you can prevent significant issues by simply being prepared.
Guest Contributor: Rose Morrison