The days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping — fall is definitely here and winter is on the way! Just like you feel the cold, so does your home. So as you pull out your sweaters, mittens, and scarves, make sure you’re also doing enough to prepare your home for the cold winter weather.
Tackling basic home maintenance now can prevent major problems in the middle of winter. Make your life easier down the road by taking care of these 10 tasks now:
Inside Your Home:
Tune up your heating system
The last thing you want in the middle of frigid winter temperatures is for your heat to stop working. Schedule an appointment now before temps drop too far to make sure your heating system is in good working shape. Don’t forget to change your filters and clean ducts of dust and other buildup while you’re at it!
Have your fireplace inspected
Fireplaces are a cozy addition to any home, but must be used carefully to minimize the risk of spreading a fire. If you have a fireplace that you use, make sure to get it inspected and cleaned by a licensed and insured professional before your first use every year.
Seal doors and windows
Gaps in windows and doors can let cold air into your home during winter months. This not only makes your home colder, it also increases your heating costs. Use weather stripping or caulk as needed to fill these gaps and further insulate your home.
Test smoke and CO detectors
Remember — you should be checking your smoke and CO detectors at least once a month and changing their batteries twice a year. A good way to remember this is by changing the batteries when you change the clocks for daylight saving time.
Check your pipes
Frozen pipes can be a huge problem in the winter. Make sure your pipes are well insulated and that you know where the water shut-off valve is in case your pipes do freeze or burst.
Outside Your Home:
Trim trees and dead branches
Now is the time to prune any trees or shrubs on your property. Make sure that tree limbs are trimmed so they are not close to power lines or your home, as they can be weighed down with snow and ice and cause damage during cold winter months.
During the fall, leaves can clog your gutters leading to wood rot, improper drainage, and even pest infestations. Make sure to regularly clean and inspect gutters to ensure they are properly draining water away from your home.
Secure handrails become even more important during snowy and icy winter months. Go around your home to make sure all handrails and supports are secure, and replace anything if needed.
Inspect your roof
When assessing your roof, look for shingles that are cracked, popping up, or missing. Loose or damaged shingles should be replaced immediately. If you notice any other issues, consider calling a professional roofer for an evaluation.
Turn off and drain outdoor water systems
Outdoor water lines are more susceptible to freezing, so make sure to not only turn them off at the main valve, but to also drain them to ensure no water is left in the pipe.
Follow these tips to make sure your home is buttoned up and ready for winter! If you have more questions about protecting your home, Quincy Mutual Group works with over 500 independent insurance agents who are ready to help! Visit our website to connect with a local agent near you: bit.ly/QuincyFindAgent.