Home Maintenance Tips for a Winter Ready Home
Certain home maintenance tasks should be completed each season to prevent structural damage, save energy, and keep all your home’s systems running properly.
Fall and winter conditions in the South vary dramatically from the northern part of the region to the southern coastline. But basic maintenance tips apply no matter where you live.
Key maintenance tasks to perform
• Get your heating system in order. Schedule your fall HVAC checkup promptly. Make sure your HVAC professional checks all electrical connections, lubricates any moving parts if necessary, and inspects the condensate drain and trap.
• Clean out your gutters. Debris in your gutters can easily divert water onto the roof or siding, setting the stage for mold and rot and dramatically shortening the lifespan of shingles and paint. Inspect and clean your gutters in the late fall after leaves have dropped.
• Put away lawn and garden equipment. Pick up anything in the yard that could be damaged by cold or snow, such as garden tools, hoses and nozzles, and patio furniture and accessories. Run your lawn mower until it’s out of gas, if possible; if you leave gas in the tank over the winter, it can degrade and lose some of its combustion ability. Worse, gas can react with the air in the tank and oxidize, forming deposits that affect the machine’s performance; worse still, moisture can condense inside the tank and cause rust that blocks the fuel lines.
• Check weatherstripping and caulk. Open all your exterior doors and check the weatherstripping; if yours is crumbly or has gaps, replace it. Remove the old weatherstripping with a utility knife and clean the surface with household cleaner, getting as much of the old debris and adhesive off as possible. When the surface is dry, apply peel-and-stick foam weatherstripping. Start at the top of the door frame and work your way down, being careful not to stretch the foam strip, which can weaken the adhesive.
Inspect windows and doors for any gaps between the trim and the exterior siding that allow air to penetrate from the outside; these gaps should be caulked. Be sure to scrape out any crumbling old caulk or paint — applying new caulk over old is fine, but first get rid of loose chunks and remove any grit with household cleaner.
Spending a few hours here and there on home maintenance tasks helps you spot developing problems quickly and prevent costly repairs. For best results, complete the tasks described above as well as those on the to-do list following this article.
• Inspect your fireplace. Make sure air isn’t coming inside and that all components are working correctly.
• Programmable thermostat. A programmable thermostat will save you money year round, adjust it to stay a little cooler when you’re away from home.
• Outside pipes. Make sure to cover and protect any outdoor water pipes and don’t forget your sprinkler system pipes also!
The Stanfield Team is here to help with any real estate maintenance questions you have!