Your home can take a beating during a particularly harsh winter, especially if you do not take extra precautions to prep your property to withstand the intense cold beforehand. Here are the most important things you need to oversee to make sure your home is ready for the winter season:
Repair Your Water Heater
Without a properly working water heater during the winter, you run the risk of getting sick or not showering at all thanks to the freezing water temperatures in your shower. You will also be needing hot water for meal preparation, de-icing certain appliances, and washing things like your car. It is crucial that you check up on your water heater beforehand to see if it is working properly. Basic upkeep and water heater repairs are especially essential if you live in a city that experiences intense snow like Salt Lake City or Minnesota.
Replace Batteries in Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
According to a report on fire safety in the winter done by the U.S. Fire Administration, heating is the cause of almost 27% of fires during the winter months. Making sure your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors have fresh batteries installed and are in good working condition will ensure that you enjoy a cozy winter without having to worry about the threat of a fire hazard.
Trim Tree Branches and Sweep Away Debris
Tree limbs and branches could potentially damage the structure of your home if it gets swept up by harsh winter winds. This is especially true for branches that are hanging over your roof, and debris littered in your driveway which could also damage your car. Make sure that tree limbs and branches are at least three feet away from your home. Better yet, make sure that your home and its surrounding area is free from them.
Do a Chimney Sweep
Your chimney will get the most use during the wintertime as it keeps you warm, but a clogged chimney presents a host of serious problems if you do not clean it out. Not only is it a fire hazard, but it can also lead to carbon monoxide poisoning due to reverse airflow that causes carbon to enter when the house does not allow air to flow properly. Make sure it’s thoroughly cleaned to allow for proper ventilation.
Clean Your Gutters
Autumn leaves and freezing water is not a good combination for gutters. As they accumulate, the weight of both puts a strain on the gutters which will cause them to sag or fall out of alignment. If you do not address these issues early on, they will only continue to get worse and you will end up spending a fortune on repairs. Preventative measures are key to making sure your gutters are in good shape.
Do not wait until it is too late. Use this task list as a basic guide for the most important things you need to attend to prepare your home for the challenges that winter brings and to save yourself from unnecessary and unexpected expenses.