Winter Home Care & Maintenance Tips: Empire Communities
The weather outside isn’t frightful quite yet, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t prepare for when it is. Seasonal maintenance of your home should be a top priority especially at the start of any season, be it summer or winter. Now that we are approaching the winter solstice, here are a few tried and true tips to get your home through the frigid temperatures!
Drain exterior water lines…shut off the hose bibs on the interior, remove hoses and protect exposed water pipes to prevent them from freezing. Before the first winter chill comes, make sure you take the necessary steps to ensure that outdoor pipes and faucets don’t freeze and burst. Another tip is to wrap exposed piping with a weather-resistant, insulated material made to keep them from freezing.
Test and Change the Batteries in Your Smoke and Carbon Dioxide Detectors…The start of winter is a good time to test all smoke and carbon dioxide detectors in your home. These units stop working after 7-10 years, so make sure you’ve got properly working detectors and
replace any non-working units.
Check and Replace Worn Weather Stripping…Proper weather stripping around doors and windows is important to reduce the amount of cold air that enters your home. At the start of the season check for cracked or worn stripping, and replace with new, more efficient stripping.
Seal Gaps…Take a close look around the exterior of your home and cover any and all gaps you find. Use caulk to seal small gaps near the foundation of your home, or around windows. It’s best to take care of this before the first snowfall hits. If necessary, call a window professional if you’ve got loose frames or cracked panes that need replacing.
General cleanup…A thorough cleaning shouldn’t only be done in the spring. Get rid of any excess at this time of year, such as the accumulation of old newspapers and any leftover hazardous household chemicals. Store flammable materials and poisons in approved, clearly labeled containers. Keep a clear space around heaters, furnaces, and other heat-producing appliances.
Change furnace filter regularly…and clean your ERV (Energy recovery ventilation).
Ensure soffit, eavestroughs and roof vents are clear…and clear excessive snow from roof to prevent ice damming, roof leaks and ice sliding off your roof
Ice and icicles…are a natural occurrence on roofs, they occur when the roof surface is warm enough to melt the snow but the air temperature is cold enough to refreeze the melted water. Professional removal of build ups of ice and snow can help reduce the likelihood of water leaks.
Concrete Slabs…Do not use salt or de-icers on any concrete surfaces, the salt will eat and deteriorate the concrete.
Air Conditioner…switch off the air conditioner before the winter season and cover the unit on the exterior
Check that snow has not accumulated…in air intake and exhaust vents of your furnace during heavy snow falls.
Monitor and adjust humidity levels…in the home to minimize window condensation. As a result of new and improved building practices, new homes are tighter, better sealed and better insulated. However these improvements have the by product of increasing the humidity in your home. If not controlled, this could lead to mould. That is why its important to maintain and control the humidity levels as soon as excessive humidity occurs on inside windows surfaces. Increase ventilation, stove fan, bathroom fan, turn up ERV, purchase a dehumidifier, turn furnace fan “on” not “auto”, open all drapes and blinds to allow air flow and do not keep blinds or heavy drapes closed. A hygrometer can be purchased at any local hardware stores and kept at around 40 %.
Check exterior electrical GFCI outlets...and reset to make sure they are working before the holiday lights are installed
Apply lubricant…to garage door rollers and tracks
During the first full winter in your new home,http://www.realtorpankajpatel.com the home will settle and dry. Keeping the home well ventilated during the process will assist in less drywall nail pops and shrinkage.
Prepping your home is a year round task, not just for winter, so start with these tips before we settle into the long winter months ahead.