Performing routine maintenance on your home is essential to ensuring it stays in good condition for many years to come. As winter approaches, there’s no better time to perform some basic maintenance, because harsh weather can do a number on an unprepared property. In order to protect your home and get the most out of your investment, here are some practical maintenance tips to help you prepare for the winter months.
One of the first things you want to do is make sure you and your family stay warm when the temperature drops. There are several ways to do this while also cutting down on heating costs. For example, by simply clicking a switch, you can change the rotation of your ceiling fans to blow cool air up and warm air down; this can save you up to 10 percent on your energy bill.
You also want to make sure your doors and windows are weather-stripped and that you replace any worn-out weather-stripping. This helps to block out cold air and keeps warm air from escaping; you can either hire a professional to install it or do it yourself with expanding foam or caulk. Moreover, if your thermostat is older, consider investing in a programmable thermostat that allows you to control your home’s temperature and set different temperatures throughout the day using an app on your smartphone or tablet.
Shape Up the Landscaping
Your landscaping also has a lot to do with protecting your home throughout the winter. Rather than raking your leaves, consider mowing your lawn with a mulching mower that cuts the leaves into small pieces. When scattered across the lawn, along with grass clippings, this organic matter can benefit the health of your lawn.
Also, be sure to trim your shrubs, as well as any trees with branches that hang over your home. Moreover, clean out your gutters to help prevent water problems. Sometimes, you can wait until all the leaves have fallen and then do it all at once, but if your gutters are stuffed with leaves and sticks already, you will need to clean them out immediately.
Protect Your Belongings
You probably have some outdoor items that you don’t want damaged by the harsh weather. Applying heavy-duty tarps can help protect your furniture, grill, and other large pieces. And some things, such as your garden tools and planters, are probably best left in a garage or shed.
Protect the Pipes
When it starts getting cold, disconnect any hoses outside your home. Also, be sure to insulate any pipes that are located in a cool area of the home, as well as pipes near your windows and doors. This will prevent water from freezing in the pipes, which can lead to bursting.
Get a Chimney Sweep
Finally, if you have a chimney, you will want to make sure it’s cleaned out before winter hits. This includes inspecting it for larger debris like animals, animal nests, and leaves, as they can prove to be a fire hazard or end up in your living room. While you’re at it, make sure there aren’t any cracks or other signs of damage that could lead to problems in the future.
Getting your home ready for the winter is essential, but it doesn’t have to take up all your time or money. Take any precautions necessary to ensure your home stays warm in the coldest of climates, and do some preventative landscaping like mowing, trimming, and cleaning. Also, do what you need to protect your outdoor belongings, insulate the pipes in your home, and hire a chimney sweep. Once you put a little effort into maintenance, you can feel more confident that your home and investment are secure during the harsh winter months.