The winter months bring more than just the cold weather. If you're a homeowner or renter, there are certain things you should do to make sure you're ready for the season. Proper preparation provides fewer problems. There are quite a few items that should be included in general maintenance to help you smoothly adjust to these months of rain, sleet and possibly snow. It is easy to overlook these items, but making sure you have them done will give you a peace of mind.
Here is a list of items to get you started:
- Clean your gutters. Take some time and clear out all the leaves and debris from your rain gutters and drainage system. This will help tremendously in the case of snow. As it melts and becomes liquid, the water can flow freely, avoiding a build-up.
- Trim your trees. This is especially important if you live in a snow-prone area. Large branches can ice from the rain or become too heavy under a large amount of snow and snap, which may cause external damage to your structure or a possible injury to someone.
- Get all your winter equipment from your storage unit. If you are storing equipment at your local self storage facility,such as a snow blower, de-icing machine or generator, you may need these items handy if your home is located in an area that gets heavy snow.
- Clean your heat sources. This includes heaters, chimneys and stoves. There are instances when one of these may temporarily become your main heat source. Making sure they are ready for use is important.
- Weatherproof your leaky areas. Checking your windows, doors and drafty areas can help identify those spaces that need caulking or repaired. Your heat will stay inside and your energy bill will see a drop in overall costs.
- Make light a priority. All your lighting should be in good working order. Change your light bulbs, add oil to your lamps, and have extra batteries for your flashlights and lanterns. Power outages are a common occurrence in very cold climates. Having adequate lighting sources can provide assistance through any outage.
- Make sure you have enough fuel. Having a generator won’t make a difference if you don’t have the fuel to use it when you need to. It’s important to store your fuel in a well-ventilated area to avoid toxic fumes.
- Review your insurance policy. Before going into any major season, you should review your policy to make sure you have adequate coverage and know what will be covered in the event of a disaster or storm.
Utilizing these tips will get your home in order for the winter months. It’s always good to have a mid-year maintenance schedule handle to keep everything in good shape year-round. It’s very easy to let these things fall through the cracks, but maintaining a routine for these and other tasks will also help in the even you decide to sell your home. Using a storage facility to store your seasonal items saves space in your garage or storage room and let's you plan ahead.
Now you have the tools for excellent home maintenance. It’s up to you to use them.