With the coldest and snowiest winter months ahead of us, now is a perfect time to optimize your home’s weatherproofing efficiency. This cold weather maintenance checklist will keep your family warm, and your pocketbook warmer during the cold winter months.
Maintenance Checklist for Winter
Roof and Gutter Maintenance
As snow accumulates on your roof, it begins to add hundreds of pounds of weight to your home’s covering. When the sun beats down on your roof and snow begins to melt, it creates ice dams. Ice dams cause pooling on your roof and can lead to leaks and mold. To decrease your chances of falling victim to a collapsing roof, and destructive leaks, it is recommended that you sweep the snow from your roof after each snowfall. Don’t ever climb on your roof with snow on it, as it is dangerous and can lead to more damage to you. Invest in a roof rake that is designed to reach high places on your house’s roof. You can find these for as little as $50 at any home and garden center.
Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
It is federally required that every room in your house have a fully-functioning smoke alarm. Don’t wait until the chirping in your detectors remind you to change the batteries. Stay ahead of the game and make a point to swap out old batteries at least once a year. Check and make sure that they are working, and review your family’s fire action plan, while the cold weather has you all inside. In addition to smoke alarms, experts strongly advise the use of carbon monoxide detectors in every room. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, and can cause serious harm or death to your family in as little as just a couple of minutes if gone undetected. Gear up for more time indoors with these two vital safety measures.
Check Your Plumbing Pipes
When turning on your faucets causes loud squeaky noises, it often means that your pipes need a tune up. It’s easy for pipes that sit idle for extended periods of time, to freeze and cause damage to your plumbing system and home. A certified plumbing technician is the best person to call if you find your home in a musical pipe ensemble. They can assess the problem, repair the damage, and update any pipes that your home may need.
Maintain Your Heating System
Along with your plumbing system, it’s vital for your home’s efficiency, that you maintain your heating system- not only during the cold winter months, but all year long. It is recommended by the manufacturer, that your home heating system undergoes annual routine maintenance performed by an HVAC professional. Also make sure that you are swapping out your furnace’s air filter every 4-6 weeks to ensure the highest indoor air quality.
In order to keep cold air out of your home, and optimize the warm air that your furnace produces, it’s important to seal off all points of entry from rats and mice. Places like your crawl space, basement window wells, and other outdoor openings to your house, are warm escapes from the cold for creepy crawly creatures. It is recommended that you seal these areas with steel wool and caulking. It is also recommended that you replace worn weather-stripping around your doors, and lock all of the windows to effectively seal off any crevasses that may allow cold air to sneak in.
Inspect your home’s winter efficiency and make the necessary updates to your home that will keep your family warm and safe, and save you money.