WHEN I THINK ABOUT BURST PIPES AND SPRINKLER SYSTEMS, FROZEN HOSES, CLOGGED DRAINS!
No. The temperatures aren’t freezing yet, but that’ll happen before you know it! Take care of seasonal maintenance items – it should reduce your expenses for household repairs. Your home will take better care of you!
- Cover your air-conditioning unit.
- Check basement for leaks during thaws. (I don’t know anyone who has a basement but, I’m certain they exist.)
- Inspect the roof, gutters, and downspouts for damage after storms. Clear the gutters/downspouts of trash/debris
- Vacuum bathroom exhaust fan grill.
- Vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils and empty and clean drip trays.
- Clean drains in sinks, tubs, showers, and dishwashers.
- Clean the barbecue grill and attend to any issues with gas lines; prepare your fire pit for chilly evenings to come.
- Air seal anything you can! Around chimneys, vents, windows, doors.
- Have your insulation checked. Most homes don’t have enough.
- Woodland creatures look for shelter in winter. They damage attic wiring and contaminate insulation. Secure attic air vents and cover entry holes with hardware cloth. We had to cover our vents with small wire as well to prevent squirrels from nesting in our attic. They chew through the cloth!
- Thoroughly and carefully clean or replace any contaminated insulation and remove any dead animals! Yikes!
- Trim trees of any limbs that might fall and damage your home, your car or any out buildings, should they become heavy with ice or snow. If after a severe ice storm, you notice some limb breakage, properly prune the damaged area as soon as the weather allows – not while the ice is still on the branch. In the case of undamaged limbs bending under the weight of ice or snow, don’t prune as a means of correcting the situation; the limbs should return naturally as the weather conditions change.
And don’t forget the monthly items!
- Clean the furnace filter to remove dust build-ups, make it easier to regulate your home’s temperature, and ultimately decrease utility bills. There are great air freshener oils and sprays for your filters. Helps keep the house odor free during the winter season when it’s closed up so much.
- Check the water softener and replenish salt if necessary.
- Clean faucet aerators and shower heads to remove mineral deposits.
- Inspect tub and sink drains for debris; unclog.
- Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and all ground-fault circuit interrupters.
- Inspect electrical cords for wear.
- Vacuum heat registers and heat vents.
- Check that indoor and outdoor air vents are not blocked.
- Flush out hot water from the water heater to remove accumulated sediment.
- Clean the garbage disposal by grinding ice cubes, then flushing with hot water and baking soda.
I know it looks like a lot but having a list on hand and checking off a few items regularly will help you plow through it quickly. Many of these items require only a few minutes or a regular routine glance – such as checking electric outlets and cords. And remember, many hands make light work!
Invite a friend or two to lunch and tackle the list together. You can help with their homes too. Imagine how pleased you’ll be with the end result!