Home Maintenance Tips for Winter
Get a head start on winterizing your home, so you can comfortably enjoy the approaching colder month. These maintenance tips for winter will get you on your way!
Winter weather can be unpredictable, and cold temperatures, high winds, ice and snow can cause serious damage to your home. To avoid costly weather-related repairs, it’s important to prep your home and property for winter. Consider the following maintenance tips to keep your home cozy and safe inside:
- Weatherproof windows and doors—Check your doors and windows for gaps, and seal them up with caulk, weatherstripping or thermal window treatments.
- Clean the dryer hose—According to the National Fire Protection Association, U.S. firefighters respond to more than 14,000 house fires caused by dryers each year. Remember to clean the lint filter, empty or replace the hose, and regularly check the vent for blockage.
- Inspect the fireplace—Clogged chimneys can also lead to house fires and can cause carbon monoxide poisoning. It’s important to schedule an annual fireplace inspection and professional chimney sweep.
- Check the HVAC system—Before the weather cools down, change the filters and schedule your annual HVAC system inspection and tune-up.
- Prevent freezing pipes—To help keep pipes at a constant temperature, ensure there is sufficient insulation and that heat can circulate in your home.
Equally as important, consider the following preventative measures outside the house:
- Trim tree branches—Keep tree limbs at least 3 feet away from the house to prevent excess water from seeping into potential cracks on the roof or siding.
- Seal cracks—Take a walk around your home to look for any exterior cracks in caulk, paint, wood or concrete surfaces. It’s critical to protect the exterior from the elements and prevent water leaks and drafts into your home.
- Clean out the gutters—Clogged gutters or downspouts can damage the foundation or cause ice dams—which may require expensive repairs. Remove leaves, twigs and other debris from gutters to ensure they aren’t holding water.
Maintenance Tips for Winter Driving
Even if you live in an area where the winters are mild, you still need to perform a car care check as the days grow shorter. Consider the following tips to prep your car for winter roads and unpredictable weather:
- Inspect your tires for tread wear and have tires rotated during every oil change. Consider switching to snow tires if you live in an area that gets heavy snow to gain better traction on slippery roads.
- Regular vehicle maintenance can help prevent car troubles. Consider changing your oil and antifreeze, replacing wiper blades and inspecting headlights and brake lights.
- Inspect your battery—Battery capacity decreases in cold weather, so get your battery tested before the chill sets in. Consider parking your vehicle in a garage to further protect the battery from the cold elements.
- Fill up your tires—Monitor your tire pressure and, as needed, fill up tires with air. It’s best to keep up with the monitoring process once a month.
- Check the heater—If you don’t have a working heater in your car already, be sure to fix it. In the event that you have car troubles and are unexpectedly stuck in your car for an extended period of time, you’ll want that heat until help is on the way.
Besides prepping and keeping your vehicle running well, stash an emergency kit in your car to help in the case of a winter car emergency.
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