Winter is here and we want you to protect your home and family during these chilly weeks ahead from preventable damages and expenses caused by winter storms and freezing temperatures. Here are 8 home maintenance tips to keep you warm and safe this winter.
1. Protect entryway flooring
Put down mats and invest in a waterproof tray to protect your floors from damage and falls by snow and salt covered boots.
2. Stock up on emergency supplies
High winds and icy conditions from winter storms can cause power outages. Be prepared with emergency supplies like bottled water, non perishable foods, flashlights, extra batteries and a first-aid kit.
3. Chimney maintenance
If you’re using your fireplace this winter, make sure the flue opens and shuts properly and the chimney is clear and drawing up the smoke properly.
4. Check your smoke and carbon monoxide detector
Do you have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in each bedroom, on each floor of the house and in the kitchen? If not, we suggest making investment. This is especially important during the cold weather months when we enjoy the cozy warmth of fireplaces and wood burning stoves.
5. Before turning up the thermostat
Reverse your ceiling fans to the clockwise direction. This helps circulate warm air that gathers near the ceiling, pushing it down to warm the rest of the room. Also, open the curtains on south-facing windows during the day to take advantage of the heat from the sun. Close them at night to block drafts and keep the heat in.
6. Remove window screens
Take out those window screen until spring and warmer weather returns. Screens can block natural light and can prevent natural warmth from the sun’s rays. Also, snow can accumulate between the screen and window causing moisture damage to window frames and sills.
7. Tree care
Snow and ice is heavy and when it piles up on tree limbs can result in breakages that are especially hazardous if they fall on your home. After a snowfall, carefully knock off excess snow and ice with a broom and consider hiring a tree pro to cut back any concerning branches that may cause issues.
8. Keep an eye on your pipes
To prevent freezing pipes, insulate exposed pipes in unheated areas of the house, like attics and crawl spaces. If you’re leaving town, keep the heat set no lower than 55 degrees, and shut off the main water supply and drain the system by opening all faucets and flushing the toilets. Also disconnect and drain outdoor hoses and water faucets so they don’t burst in freezing temperatures.