Whether you enjoy the winter season or not, it’s quickly approaching and you might want to start preparing your home for its arrival. The cold temperatures and wet weather can be disastrous for homes that aren’t properly prepared. And damage caused by water and extreme cold can be costly to repair. Which is why it’s so important to ensure that your home is protected. Fortunately, we’ve come up with a list of winter home maintenance tips to help get you ready.

#1 Make sure your heating system is ready

Your home’s heating system is one of the most important things to check before winter starts to take over. Because of the freezing temperatures, it’s critical that you have sufficient heat to stay warm and to keep your pipes intact. Each heating system needs to be treated differently, so start by determining which system you have in your home. A high-efficiency system needs to have its PVC pipes cleared of any obstructive objects or debris. If your home contains a boiler system, be sure to have it cleaned once every year. And gas systems require professional cleaning every three years. Lastly, be sure to check all the necessary filters and replace them if necessary.

#2 Check your fireplace and chimney     

If you regularly use your fireplace as a heat source, then you want to make sure it’s in tip-top shape before it starts to get too cold. Consider having the chimney cleaned by a chimney sweep before using it to ensure your home’s safety. And clean out any unburned pieces of wood and ash from the fireplace itself. Lastly, remember to check for cracks and debris in the chimney as these things could be potentially hazardous.

#3 Prepare your pipes for the cold

When temperatures start to drop, you might want to start thinking about protecting your home’s pipes. When water freezes it expands and causes pipes to burst. In order to prevent this from happening, you’re going to need to insulate any pipes that are in areas of your home that are unheated. Typically, pipes located in the garage, basement, or near windows or doors will need to be insulated. Also, be sure to disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets and don’t let your home’s temperature get below 50°F.

#4 Create a winter home survival kit

Winter storms commonly cause power outages, which is why you should consider making a home survival kit. You never know when you’re going to be stuck without power, so keep your survival kit handy and in a safe, dry place. Stock a large bucket or container with:

  • Flashlights
  • First-aid supplies
  • Batteries
  • Portable phone charger
  • Bottled water
  • Non-perishable food
  • Blankets

Also, be sure to pick up some salt for your driveway and any pathways, and bags of sand can be useful in case of flooding.

#5 Protect your entryways from water damage

Another winter home maintenance tips to keep in mind this year is to protect your entryways from water damage. Snow, ice, salt, and mud can be very damaging to your floors. In order to keep them safe, place floor mats on the inside and outside of your door. You should also keep wet and dirty shoes off of the floors. Instead, keep them on a mat or shoe drying rack.

#6 Seal windows and doors 

You should inspect your doors and windows for cold air leaks. Leaks can lead to substantial heat loss and could run up your electric bill pretty quickly. So, be sure to enhance the insulation around windows and doors with weather stripping and fill cracks and gaps with caulk.

#7 Inspect your home’s roof

Your home’s roof is a critical part of your home, especially in the winter. You should check for any damaged roof shingles and contact a professional roofing contractor to make any necessary repairs. Also, be sure to remove any debris that’s gathered on your roof and clear out your gutters.

#8 Protect your patio furniture

Patio furniture often gets forgotten about once winter comes around. Snow and cold temperatures can damage wood, metal and plastic materials and may even cause molding in patio cushions. However, you can prevent your outdoor furniture from being ruined by moving it to a covered location, or by covering it with tarps. And move your patio cushions indoors, or place them in a large container and leave them in a dry place.

#9 Flush and insulate your hot water tank

For this winter home maintenance tip, start by flushing your hot water tank to remove any sediment that’s built up. Once you’ve completed this, you can place an insulated blanket around the hot water heater to keep it from getting cold. As a bonus, this tip will help you conserve energy and money.

#10 Store your seasonal tools and lawn equipment

To keep your tools and lawn equipment in working condition, you need to keep them somewhere they won’t be damaged by water. Water and snow can cause electrical tools to stop working and can lead to the development of rust on metal materials. So, be sure to put your tools away in a dry place.

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Hopefully, these winter home maintenance tips help you get prepared for the cold weather and snow that comes with enduring a Reno winter. If you have any questions about our new homes in Reno NV, give us a call to get in touch with one of our quality home builders of Northern Nevada!

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