Winter is fast approaching and it’s high time to go through your winter home maintenance checklist to ensure that your home is ready for the unpredictability of the weather in the months to come.

Your Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

For the Exterior

  • Clean the gutters and remove any debris (e.g., leaves, branches, etc.) so they won’t become clogged, becoming more difficult work for you later.
  • Examine your yard (front and back), deck, and patio area. Look for any structurally compromising aspects that may directly affect your home’s main structure (e.g., broken or falling components like railings or steps). Take your patio furniture inside or cover them each time the weather forecast looks bad.
  • Drain and store your sprinkler system
  • Check your roof for leaks, missing sections, loose shingles. Any damage will only be made worse by the winter weather, hire a contractor to repair it or maybe it’s time to change it.
  • Inspect your trees, cut all suspicious limbs especially the ones close to the house that can break and cause later damage during inclement weather.
  • Inspect all around your home for points of entries for pests and rodents. Work to seal these openings to keep them out.
  • Waterproof your home by directing water drainage away from your home

For the Interior

  • Have your chimney swept and your fireplace cleaned. They can be the most enjoyable features of your home but can become potential fire hazards that cause a lot of damage.
  • Fix anything that looks suspicious, especially cracks in foundation walls.
  • Check for potential drafts to avoid losing heat and raising your energy bill. Inspect attic insulation and ventilation and upgrade if necessary.
  • Make sure that your heating system is in perfect shape. Doing the recommended maintenance on your system will spare you some serious problems when you most need it.
  • Replace the weather stripping. Your windows and doors should not allow cold air enter your house. Door and window frames as well as panes can be cold culprits.
  • Verify your ceiling, it may have stains due to leaks that may have formed due to damage, wear and tear, or leaky flashings.

Depending on where you live you may have to make sure that any snow equipment. Ensure that the snowblower is up and running and easily accessible. Protect your pipes, insulate them and disconnect all hoses and faucets outside the home. When the temperatures drop below freezing, they can burst and cause costly water damages. If you do need to have water (if you have animals for instance) let an outdoor faucet drip very slowly, it is said that this will help prevent it from freezing. Do not forget to have a good stock of firewood to keep warm and your home maintenance checklist is done!

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