10 Winter Maintenance Tips to Keep Your Home Protected During the Winter
It’s that time of the year again. Winter is here and it’s getting colder each and every day. Do you have any winter maintenance tips that you follow to keep your home warm?
If you answered “No”, then you’re in trouble. There are things you need to take care of before and during winter to ensure your home is comfortable during the winter months.
We’ve come up with 10 winter maintenance tips you should follow to help get you through the winter this year. Let’s get started.
Winter Maintenance Tips: Before Winter Hits
Around September or October, when winter is right around the corner, you need to start preparing your home. If you don’t, you won’t be ready for the freezing temperatures that are on the way. Follow these 6 winter maintenance tips before winter starts and your home can handle anything thrown its way.
1. Make Sure Your Furnace Works Properly
If your furnace doesn’t work this winter, you’re in for a very cold couple of months. Make sure everything is working correctly so you don’t have any unexpected problems in the middle of winter. Inspect it closely and make sure you change the filter.
Here are a few signs your furnace isn’t working properly:
- System won’t turn on
- Isn’t producing heat
- Shuts off before it has reached your desired temperature
- Making loud noises
If you’re still having trouble determining if your furnace isn’t working or you need to have it fixed, hire a professional. They’ll come out and test to make sure your appliance will last through the winter.
2. Check Your Windows and Doors for Leaks
Even if your furnace is working properly, you don’t want to lose the heat it produces or, even worse, let cold air into your home. Not only will it take forever to reach your desired temperature, but you’ll be burning through money on your energy bills.
The key is to make sure all of your windows are properly caulked and both your windows and doors have functioning weatherstripping. This should prevent air from escaping through gaps underneath them. If your caulking or weatherstripping isn’t working properly, it’s time they’re replaced.
For larger problems like seal failure, warping and expanding or if your windows and doors aren’t energy efficient, the entire unit will need to be replaced. Find a window and door company that offers double or triple pane, argon gas-filled windows and foam insulated doors that are installed by industry professionals.
If you need replacement windows, get a free quote from Feldco. Our vinyl windows are exactly what you need for your Chicago home.
3. Add Attic Insulation
Heat rises and if your attic isn’t properly insulated, you’ll lose it through your ceiling and vents. This will end up costing you tons of money on your heating bill. You can prevent this with additional attic insulation.
Fiberglass attic insulation should be blown-in before winter starts to prevent heat from rising through your attic and out of your home. If you aren’t sure how to install attic insulation, hire a professional because it’s crucial that it’s installed properly.
4. Inspect Your Roof, Gutters and Home Exterior
Your roof, gutters and home exterior cladding need to be inspected before the winter starts. Any existing damage could get much worse after a cold winter.
Start with your roof. Have a professional come inspect the shingles and make sure they’ll be able to make it through another winter. If there’s wear and tear, it can become a major problem when snow starts to fall.
Also, make sure you clean your gutters before it starts freezing outside. If your gutters are full during the first snowfall of the year, it leads to ice dams which will severely damage your gutters.
You’ll want a home exterior that can handle the harsh weather of the Midwest. Vinyl siding was built to withstand snow, hail and heavy winds for decades without there being any damage. Plus, it’s the most energy efficient home exterior cladding with a foam insulation board installed beneath the siding panels. It’s the perfect weapon to fight against the harsh cold of winter.
5. Put Your Outdoor Furniture Away for the Winter
Of all the winter maintenance tips, putting away outdoor furniture is one of the most overlooked. With the heavy winds that are associated with snow storms, your furniture can get blown around and lost.
Also, if the furniture is made from wood and wicker, it could get damaged when exposed to too much moisture. Your best bet is to put all outdoor furniture in an enclosed structure, like a shed, for the winter.
6. Wrap Your Pipes
During the winter, there’s always the risk of your pipes bursting. This happens when your pipes get so cold they freeze and burst. This can be avoided though.
You can install an electrical heating cable to your crawl space pipes. It automatically adjusts your pipes to the appropriate heat based on the temperature changes outside.
There’s also foam wrap that you can put around your pipes to keep them warm. These two techniques can help prevent your pipes from bursting this winter.
Winter Maintenance Tips: During the Winter
Once winter starts, you’re not done maintaining your home. While most of your home’s features will regulate themselves if you prepared them properly, there are a few things you still need to do. Here are 4 more winter maintenance tips for you to do during the winter.
7. Shovel and Salt Your Driveway and Walkway
This should go without saying, but after it snows heavily, you need to shovel your driveway. You can also melt thick ice with salt. This makes it easier to pull your cars in and out of your driveway. Plus, it’s much safer to walk through.
Speaking of safety, the last thing you want is for someone to fall on your walk space. Not only can someone get hurt but if they fall on your property, you’re liable. So shovel and salt all walkways around your home.
8. Remove Ice From Your Roof
When it snows, you might find ice hanging from your roof. This can be extremely dangerous. If an icicle or mass of ice falls, it could hit you and hurt you pretty badly.
The best way of knocking ice of your roof is with a broom or shovel. Stand back and run the broom or shovel along the edge of your roof. This should break any ice hanging and make your home much safer.
9. Turn Your Faucet on a Slow Drip
This tip can be associated with number 6. The last thing you want is for your pipes to burst during the winter. While wrapping your pipes or using an electric heating cable helps a lot, there’s one last thing you can do during the winter to further prevent your pipes from bursting.
Whenever you’re not using water, have your sink running at a slow drip. This forces water to constantly be moving through your pipes, keeping them at a controllable temperature. Plus, if it’s at a slow drip, you won’t be wasting much money on your water bills. An extremely small cost to pay for what could be a large problem.
10. Stay Stocked Up on Essentials
During winter in the Midwest, you never know when the next large snow storm will happen. When it does, you never know how long you’ll be stuck in your home. it’s extremely important to make sure you have everything you need in case something like that happens.
Make sure you stock up of the following items:
- Paper towels
- Toilet paper
- Cleaning supplies
Follow These Winter Maintenance Tips are the Key to Getting Through the Winter
Following these winter maintenance tips will help you get through the winter. Whether it’s keeping your home warm or preventing any major damage, this winter will be hassle-free.
If you need replacement windows, siding or doors to get you through the winter, get a free quote from Feldco. We’ve proudly served over 400,000 homeowners in the Midwest and know exactly what you need for your home.