Maintenance Corner | November 2022 | Checklist To Help You Prepare Your Home For Cold Weather

Extreme cold weather can be hard on both you and your home. From making life more comfortable to preventing big maintenance issues and avoiding emergency call fees, taking time to prep your home for winter can make a big difference. Here’s a CHECKLIST to put into practice when freezing weather, snow, and ice hit your area.

  • Assemble a survival kit for power outages and inclement weather. Check the link for the must-have for this survival kit.

             Power Outage Kit

  • Make sure your flashlights and weather radios have new batteries or invest in nonbattery options. Check out these nonbattery-operated flashlights on amazon.

            Non battery Operated Flashlight

  • Inspect your backup generator. Follow the checklist on the link provided.

            Generator Check Up Checklist

  • Check fire extinguisher expiration dates and replace extinguishers, if necessary.
  • Inspect electrical outlets all throughout the house for damaged or fire hazards.
  • Fall is the best time to plant bulbs, so you get beautiful springtime flowers.
  • Check and trim dead or damaged tree limbs. Diseased, dead, and broken branches should be removed right away
  • Clean gutters and downspouts and make sure to remove excess or stuck debris.
  • Outdoor furniture should be covered to preserve the frames and coushins from leaves and snow. Check out this waterproof sofa cover from Amazon.

           Waterproof Sofa Cover

  • Make sure to clean debris from your HVAC (air-conditioning), ventilation, and outdoor heating.
  • To prevent debris from accumulating protect your HVAC unit grates by covering the top grates with plywood or a tarp if recommended by the manufacturer and secure it with bricks.
  • Winterize summer lawn equipment by draining the fluids. Here is a helpful link on how to do that. 

            Winterize lawn equipment

  • In areas that snow remove window screens and put-up storm windows and doors.
  • Check your weather stripping around doors and caulk around windows to make sure there are no gaps or tears and replace as needed.
  • Reverse ceiling fans (clockwise during winter to circulate warm air and counterclockwise during summer to create that natural cooling breeze).
  • Inspect whole-house humidifier systems. A whole-home humidifier should be cleaned, maintained, and shut down at the end of the season if it's no longer being used. Read the pros and cons article to know its importance.

             Home Humidifier Pros and Cons

  • Have your chimney inspected and cleaned of creosote buildup. Creosote is a black, tar-like substance that forms inside your chimney when smoke doesn't entirely escape. It can cause chimney fires, which can then lead to house fires. Toss in one of these creostoe  removers to make the job easy.

            Chimney Inspection

  • It is highly recommended that you contact a licensed gas service provider to conduct maintenance on your fireplace as damage to any of the gas components could be potentially dangerous.
  • To save on increased fuel rates and deliveries during the season, it is advised to order propane and heating oil ahead. So, make sure to check your propane level and home heating oil.
  • Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. To check the alarm, hold down the test button for a few seconds until you hear the alarm sound. If the notice or other alarms in your house don't sound or the alarm isn't loud enough, you should replace the CO/smoke detector immediately. Here’s a YouTube video tutorial to follow.  

             How to check Smoke Detectors

  • Do a septic system frost protection by having the septic system inspected and make sure all outdoor pipes are insulated or below the frost line.
  • Inspect and service cold-weather tools such as shovels, leaf blowers, rakes, and snowblowers.
  • Inspect walkways, railings, and driveways for any safety concerns. Rock salt is very effective for melting ice on driveways and streets and providing emergency traction so make sure to stock up on rock salt, sand, or non-clumping litter to prevent slipping on icy walkways.
  • Disconnect garden hoses and store them to keep the interior clean throughout the winter months and prevent the hose from unraveling.
  • Manually shut off the water supply to exterior faucets and drain the water lines to prevent freezing cover exterior water faucets and insulate exposed pipes using foam pipe insulation.
  • Prepare and cover swimming pools but make sure your pool is clean before closing it so it's spotless when summer comes around.

    Pool Ideas for Winter
  • Keep hot tubs running at optimal levels if used through the winter. Check out the link below for tips. 

            How to winterize Hot Tubs

Remember that it’s easy to let home preparation take a backseat to more pressing claims on our time and money but taking one weekend day to follow these tips could save you hundreds of dollars this winter. In Florida where we are you wont not need to do all of these items in the checklist. And if you had us managing your home we would do them for you!


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