With all the barbecues, baseball games and road trips that go on during the summer months, home maintenance projects may not top your list of fun hobbies, but before the winter weather comes bearing down in your region, there are a few projects you should consider completing.
Rain, freezing temperatures, snow and sleet can happen quickly, so you’ll need a head start to get projects completed before Mother Nature makes it a challenge. Every project won’t need to be done every year, of course, but here’s a helpful maintenance checklist to get you started. A little maintenance now can help prevent more expensive repairs down the line.
5 tips to get your home winter ready:
1. Sweep the Chimney. If you haven’t had your chimneys cleaned in a while, it’s probably time. The fireplace is one of the most used items during the winter months, but before you light up that first log, make sure your fireplace and chimney are free of dried debris and any critters that might have made a nest over the warmer summer months. If you decide to hire a professional, they’ll be able to clean out any flammable materials.
How often do you really need to get your chimney cleaned? If you light a fire about three times a week, you should clean it every year. If it’s only a couple of time a week, every other year is fine. If it’s once a week or less, every third year should to the trick.
2. Clean the Gutters and Inspect the Roof. If you can’t get on a ladder yourself, hire a professional. Due to wintry conditions, your gutters and roof may need to be inspected due to wear and tear. In fact, your roof should be checked regularly for signs of any damage. Extreme weather conditions can cause damage, and tiles or shingles can break, causing leaks to form. Homeowners spend an average of over $600 just on roof repairs.
3. Check the Furnace. The time to check your furnace to make sure it’s working properly is before the weather gets too cold. To make sure it’s working properly, turn on the heat and blower to be sure they’re operating as they should. You should also change your furnace filter every winter season. Filters get dirty more quickly if your home is dusty or you have furry pets. Dirty filters could mean your home might not warm up properly.
Tip: Reverse the direction of your ceiling fans. You might think fans are only used during summer, but they can actually help you stay warm during winter too. If you set the blades to turn clockwise, the fan will circulate warm air from the ceiling.
4. Weatherproof Your Doors and Windows. It’s important to make sure your home is ready to handle the cold to come. Check your doors and windows closely for gaps and areas that may cause a draft. Caulk around windows and install weather stripping around doors as needed. This minor and inexpensive task can help you save on heating costs.
5. Prepare Pipes for Freezing Weather. If your pipes are old or if you live in an area that is typically below freezing, consider insulating exposed pipes to keep them from freezing or bursting. When water builds up in pipes and freezes, it can cause leaks, crack and breaks.
Tackling these five home maintenance projects can make a big difference for you and your household as the winter months approach. Go ahead and get them checked off your to-do list so you can relax and enjoy the things you love to do most.
If you need some additional financial support, a cash out refinance can help feather your nest for the rest of the winter months.