Winter has arrived, and with the flurries and chilly weather come the home maintenance tasks that every house needs to make it through the cold months. Winter home maintenance can be easy to forget as the seasons quickly change, but never fear! Check out our list of essential home maintenance tasks for winter so you can enjoy the winter ahead.
Check Your Heating Systems
Whether you live in the mountains of North Carolina or down by the coast, you can bet that you’ll need to turn your heater on this winter. Before the chill sets in, inspect your heating and HVAC systems, as well as your fireplaces, to make sure everything is in working order. In fact, it is a good idea to get these home systems checked at least once per year, to head off any issues that might arise. This is especially true if you have a fireplace, as a poorly maintained fireplace can quickly turn into a hazard in your home. After all, it is a lot better to make sure everything is working properly now than to inadvertently find out your heater is broken in the middle of a cold snap!
Clear Your Gutters and Protect Your Roof
Winters in North Carolina are notoriously wet, and with fall not too far behind us, your gutters and downspouts are likely clogged up with fallen leaves and other debris. This isn’t just unsightly, but can cause roof damage and leaks if water gets backed up in a clogged gutter system, not something you want to mess with in cold weather. Instead of simply hoping your roof will hold up all winter, take the time to clear out debris from your gutters and make sure your downspouts are clean, too. While you’re up there, inspect your roof for signs of damage or wear and tear, and have your roof inspected by a professional if you see anything suspicious.
Seal Your Home Up Tight
If you’ve got your heat cranked up and your home is still chilly, drafts from improperly sealed windows and doors might be to blame. Check on the exterior windows and doors of your home annually to make sure they are sealed up as they should be and that no weather stripping is broken. Inspect exterior openings for cracks or holes, and if you find any, seal them up. This small winter home maintenance task can help keep your home warmer and your electricity and heating bills low.
Protect Your Pipes
When the temperature dips below freezing, one of the biggest causes for concern in your home is freezing water that can cause burst pipes in your plumbing system. To protect your plumbing this winter:
- Drain water from exterior sources including garden hoses and sprinklers
- Insulate pipes that may be exposed to the elements like pipes in the attic or basement
- Keep your home heated above 50 degrees to keep your pipes inside your home from freezing and bursting
- Shut off your water supply at the main valve if you are leaving your house for vacation.
Keeping your home safe and sound this winter isn’t as hard as it seems. The NC Housing Finance Agency offers many resources to help homeowners and home ownership hopefuls in North Carolina. Learn more at www.nchfa.com/news.