DISCLOSURE: This post contains affiliate links when if used to make a purchase it will earn me a few coins, however, it will not affect your purchase price.
Global Warming is real y’all – at least it seems to be so here in Delaware! Since the official start of winter last month, we’ve only had 1 significant snowfall but it was over in a matter of hours.
However, I am not foolish enough to think that it will stay that way as we head into February which with previous winters it has been the coldest month of the year.
We have been in our “forever home” for 3 years now so it is time to start paying closer attention to the maintenance and upkeep of it including preparing it for winter.
According to our builder’s Home Care Guide there are several areas of our home that need attention in the winter and I am sharing a few of them. Thank you Ryan Homes!
- Clean Out Your Gutters
As we only have 1 small tree in the front yard, we don’t have to worry about leaves clogging the gutters. However, if you have trees make sure to clear your gutters before the snow falls and when it does, check for frozen water and ice afterwards.
Frozen water or cluttered gutters can lead to problems like leaky roofs, or ice buildup around your house. So after a snowstorm make sure to check the gutters and remove any snow or frozen ice.
- Sweep The Chimney
In the construction of our home, we chose not to have a fireplace built as the clean up was never a fun chore. If you have a fireplace and enjoy the coziness of it, remember to have your chimney swept before lighting the first fire of the season.
One of the leading causes of house fires in the wintertime is caused by creosote buildup in the chimney over time and use. A clean chimney also gives you the most heat, while cutting down on the smoke that stays in your house and messes with your respiratory tract.
- Turn Off Exterior Water
Water buildup inside of hoses and faucets outside will cause damage to your pipes. In some cases frozen water can even build up causing a pipe to burst inside of your home which can cause tremendous amounts of water damage.
To save on repair and replacement costs in the future, turn off the valves to your outdoor faucets and drain any remaining water.
Also If you have an underground sprinkler system, it is important to drain all the water out of it. Make sure that you shut it off from the main water supply as well because excess water that expands as it freezes will inevitably cause a pipe to burst.
- Check Your Heater
Hubby and I have different internal thermostats, he is always cold and I am always hot, it’s a menopausal thing – so don’t judge. However, having a warm home with a working heating system is vital for us both. An annual inspection is best left to an HVAC professional, but there are some precautions that you can take yourself. Before winter begins, and every 30-days, change the filter in your furnace, and make sure the furnace isn’t cluttered, but clean and functional.
Checking your air ducts for leaks can also make your heating system give you the most bang for its buck. You can also purchase a portable heater as hubby did for our family room and basement – I told you he’s always cold, but to be honest, I love it and it heats both floors quite well.
Check it out on Amazon https://amzn.to/3waQsI1 – oh my… I just saw the price that he paid for it – SMH!!!
- Put Energy Saving Bulbs in Outdoor Lights
During winter, we experience less daylight hours, despite still having plenty of outdoor activities to do! This means that outdoor light sources will be on a lot more than you may be used to. Getting energy efficient bulbs for the outdoors will give you more light for longer, and save you money in energy bills that were already higher during the holiday season.
- Ready Your Roof
Depending on the age of your home, the winter season can be rough on your home’s roofing. Water damage and buildups of moisture can cause leaks that can penetrate the roof and rain down inside your home.
You can prevent this now by getting up there and inspecting it for yourself or getting a professional opinion is a better idea. If you can, make sure when clearing the gutters to also sweep off any leaves on your roof, as they may have moisture in them that will freeze and expand once it is covered in a mountain of snow.
- Fix Cracks In Concrete
Tiny cracks in your driveway or walkway may appear small now, but after months of being subjected to a repeating freeze-thaw cycle you may find your concrete needs to be repaired. Also, salt and de-icing chemicals used to thaw ice and snow can damage driveway, walks and stoops.
The good news is that most of those smaller cracks can be cheaply and easily repaired right now, but once the winter damage takes hold you may have to start replacing entire chunks of your driveway or sidewalk. Concrete patch tubes are relatively cheap, and can be found at your local home store like Home Depot.
- Fix Leaks in Doors and Windows
There is nothing worse in the winter than leaky doors and windows because it could be costing you hundreds of dollars every year. Covering them with heavy curtains will help but using a caulking gun or window / door insulation film is a simple and easy-to-do project that will seal those cracks and save you more money in the end!
- Clean Out Garage
I wish we had done this in our previous home, but I am glad that we have done it in our new home. I remember being outside in the freezing cold, scraping ice and snow off my windows or sitting in the car outside waiting for the windows to defrost, especially when I had to drive to a job.
This is a good reason to clean and organize your garage before the first snowflake ever falls. Building additional shelving can help clear up space and guarantee that you get a parking spot in your own garage.
Are you and your home ready for the winter season?