Your Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
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You’ve said goodbye to the dog days of summer and are enjoying the cooler fall weather and all the benefits that autumn brings. While it’s tantalizing to put off home maintenance chores, it’s best to be responsible and make sure everything in your home is in tip-top shape so the winter chill doesn’t catch you with a malfunctioning home system.
Now is a good time to verify all your home systems are operating well, from the heating system to the electrical system to the plumbing system. Read the following list of must-do maintenance chores to do to keep your home snug and cozy in the months ahead, as well as safe from an expensive repair service visit.
- Clean Up Outside
Any San Franciscan knows that there will be plenty of temperate, beautiful days that can be enjoyed outside even in the dead of winter — sometimes, winter days are warmer than summer days! Make sure your outdoor areas are spruced up not only so you can spend time in the great outdoors in the fall and winter, but also to keep your home and family’s health in good order. Remove fallen leaves and other natural debris from your yard, deck and garage to prevent unwanted pests from making themselves comfortable. Start by raking everything into piles, and then vacuuming them up with a backpack vacuum cleaner; these are a better option than burning debris, which presents both fire and health hazards, especially in dry conditions. These tools also often have HEPA filters to help reduce allergens, and once everything is vacuumed up, you can use the organic matter as a natural mulch. Now is also a good time to paint and seal your deck before the winter rain falls. Sealing outdoor wood will help it last longer by preventing rot and mold growth.
- Clean Your Roof Gutters
Your roof’s downspouts and gutters are liable to have accumulated a lot of clogging debris over the warmer months of the year. Take the time to inspect and clean your roof’s drainage system so that rain is channeled away from your home’s foundational walls and exterior, keeping the overall structure of your home intact. Check for corrosion and rust, and install mesh guards to keep any leaf matter or debris from blocking parts of your home’s drainage system.
- Test Your Smoke and CO Detectors
Check and test that your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are working properly by following the manufacturer’s manual of instructions. It’s a good policy to change the batteries of the ceiling detectors once every new season. For added security, keep a fire extinguisher in the garage and kitchen, as well as in designated spaces on other floors of the house.
- Replace Air Filters
Check the quality of air circulation in your home, and remove any debris blocking proper air flow. Change your air filters and test your home humidifiers. If your air conditioning unit directly faces the outside, think about covering it in the winter.
A Final Thought
A week of routine home maintenance chores will save you plenty of repair costs in the future. Even brand new homes can spring a roof leak or suffer a failed gas heater when owners don’t regularly perform home maintenance chores throughout the year. So, be proactive in getting your maintenance chores done so that you can enjoy a warm, well-insulated home in the cold months ahead.