Having your home ready for the changing seasons, especially for winter, is essential. In this month’s Home Spruce-up post, I have a checklist of items you need to clean, check, and/or replace before winter comes in full force.
Air and Water Circulation
Inspect pipes for leaks and cover them with blanket foam
During winter, when temperatures drop below freezing, water freezes, which is fine as long as it doesn’t involve frozen water pipes. Ensure that your ventilation and water circulation are working efficiently during these cold months to keep your house in good working order.
- Clean and check the chimney, vents, smoke alarms, and carbon monoxide detectors. Because it’s too cold to open the windows, maintaining the air quality inside the house is important. The chimney and vents should be rid of soot or creosote build-up. Creosote is the oily residue produced when you burn coal or wood. Accumulation of this substance should be watched out for, since it may cause a chimney fire. Also, make sure that your fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries and are working efficiently.
- Clean up and tune up your heating system. Take it from me, it’s no fun to have the heat die on a cold winter’s day. This is also the best time to check the readiness of your gas or propane heater, and make sure that your gas or propane tank is full.
- Clean gutters and downspouts to reduce blockage when the winter rains and snow start. Also, inspect and repair holes or broken areas.
- Rodents, small birds, and insects get drawn to the warmth of your home, so cover your vents and other openings with screens and tarps.
- Empty your outdoor faucets of water and cover your pipes in blanket foam to prevent water from freezing and pipes from bursting.
Fill holes and fix the roof before winter arrives
Windows and Doors
It’s important to keep the heat in during winter, so maintain the quality of your windows to keep the coldness out and your energy bills low.
- Have your doors and windows checked for drafts coming in or out. Drafty windows and doors let out the warm air and let the cold air in, making it doubly hard for your heating system to keep your house warm.
- Inspect wooden window and door frames for cracks or decay. Mold can set in during the cold season, so fill in the cracks or fix broken frames to prevent further damage.
- If you live in areas with high chances of winter storms and heavy snowfall, put up storm screens to protect your doors and windows from possible weather damage.
Patio, Lawn, and Other Outdoor Areas
Clean the porch free of dirt and leaves
After securing the house, check your outdoor spaces as these areas are more exposed to the elements.
- Clean and dry your outdoor furniture, then store them in the shed or garage for winter. You can also cover them with heavy tarp before storage to keep dust away.
- Clear up your patio or deck floors of leaves and dust. Make sure to get rid of the debris stuck between the floorboards to prevent mold growth.
- Check the lights around the exterior of the house, and, if needed, replace them with new bulbs to make sure that they’ll work efficiently for the rest of the season.
- Trim tree branches, especially those near electric wires, to prevent electrical problems and damage to property.
- Apply winterizing fertilizer to your lawn to maintain proper plant growth, especially for your shrubs and garden plants.
Keep your home functioning at its best by preparing early for winter. Have this checklist at the ready and stay warm and cozy inside your house this coming season!by