It’s that time of year again – there’s a chill in the air, and you’ve begun to make arrangements for the holiday season. That’s right, folks – autumn is here and the winter is close behind. With the change in the weather, there also comes seasonal maintenance requirements for homeowners. Here’s a quick guide to some basic fall/winter maintenance tips to keep your house in tip-top shape during the colder months. Feel free to keep this guide handy when you’re creating your home maintenance checklist!
Gutter Maintenance – Inspect, Clean, or Replace If Necessary
Your house’s gutters are essential to preventing water damage to your roof and other areas of your home. The leaves that fall during the colder months can get caught in the gutters, clogging them, and preventing them from functioning properly. Failure to maintain your gutters can result in severe water damage, and in some particularly bad instances may require you to utilize the services of a water restoration company.
Don’t Forget to Turn Off Outdoor Water Sources
It’s highly recommended that you turn off any outdoor faucets before the temperature starts dropping below freezing at night. Failure to do so can lead to a pipe burst resulting in severe water damage to your home, especially your basement. Turning off your outdoor faucets is the best way to avoid any sort of water damage to your home this winter. You should also remove and drain hoses from any outdoor faucets and store them indoors for the winter season. Doing so will preserve your outdoor equipment and minimize the risk of potential water damage.
Check and Double Check for Cold Drafts
If you start to notice a cold draft in your home during the frigid winter months, don’t panic – this is a common issue. Start by giving your doors and windows a thorough inspection. If you notice cold air leaking through any openings, you may need to get your weatherstrips replaced or resealed. You can also combat draftiness by replacing your curtains or drapes with heavier materials that will absorb the cold drafts more efficiently than your current installations. You should also inspect your house’s exterior siding for any holes or cracks that could be contributing to interior draftiness. If you notice any significant holes or cracks, consider calling a contractor to get those filled in. Don’t forget to check your basement windows and entryways as well.
Inspect and Test the Furnace
It’s always a good idea to run a furnace test before the cold temperatures set in. If you notice any deficiencies in your furnace, call an HVAC professional to come and diagnose the issue. Chances are you may need to change the filter, or your furnace may have a leak.
Basic Yard Work and Outdoor Maintenance
Your gutters aren’t the only part of your home that require an inspection for fallen leaves. If your home utilizes any other sort of exterior drainage systems (such as a French drain or a footing drain), it’s always a good idea to remove any debris that may be causing blockage or buildup within those systems. You should also have your chimney and fireplace inspected so that any leaves or debris can be removed, allowing you to utilize your fireplace as another source of warmth during the cold months. Additional yard work includes storing your outdoor furniture indoors so that it does not sustain any significant damage from the cold.
Consider Getting Driveway Cracks Filled In
You should absolutely think about fixing any large cracks in your driveway concrete. When water seeps into those cracks and freezes, the cracks will expand, which can considerably worsen the overall condition of your driveway. If left unchecked for long enough, your driveway concrete will crumble, and you’ll be left with a driveway full of potholes. It’s best to address the issue early before any significant damage has been sustained.
Give the Roof a Thorough Inspection
Just like every other major part of your home, your roof should be inspected before the cold sets in as well. If you notice any shingles that are cracked, buckled, or broken, call a roofing professional to get the issue fixed.
Maintaining your home is extremely important, especially during significant weather changes. Failure to do so can result in water damage (which may require the services of a water restoration company), significant repair costs, and a big headache. Be sure to keep this checklist handy when you’re prepping your home for the winter weather change.
If you live in the Phoenix area and your home has sustained water damage from the seasonal cold weather change, call ServiceMaster at (623) 486-0700 to schedule a consultation.