- Check Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors
According to the National Fire Protection Association, heating equipment failures account for 15 percent of all home fires. Furnaces and heaters can also produce deadly carbon monoxide gas, which is colorless and odorless. Make sure that checking the batteries in your smoke and fire detectors is high on your winter maintenance checklist.
- Get Your Furnace Serviced
Getting your furnace checked out can nip potential problems in the bud and save you the inconvenience and discomfort of dealing with a furnace breakdown in the middle of winter.
- Insulate Pipes in Unheated Areas
Pipes near windows, doors and in unheated parts of your home can freeze and burst, leading to flooding and expensive plumbing repairs. Make sure that pipes in any unheated parts of your home are properly insulated. Disconnect the garden hose from the outside spigot, turn off the water to the spigot if possible and cover the outdoor faucet with a freeze cap.
- Prepare for the Worst
Extreme weather is becoming more common, and you need to be prepared for a storm that could leave you without power or heat during cold weather. Stock up on batteries, blankets, non-perishable food, bottled water, first-aid supplies and flashlights. Consider buying a solar smartphone charger, stocking up on rechargeable power banks and installing a generator.
- Test Your Sump Pump
A properly functioning sump pump will keep your basement dry. Pour a few gallons of water into the sump pit to make sure that the pump kicks on. If it doesn’t, replace it. On average, a sump pump lasts about 10 years.
- Inspect Your Roof
Look for cracked or missing shingles, broken shingles and grit that has been washed into your gutters. Check for broken seals around the chimney or around any roof vents, too.
- Clean Your Gutters
Gutters that are clogged with debris could allow water to seep down behind the siding on your home’s exterior, causing serious water damage. Clean your gutters before winter sets in to protect your home from the melting snow and ice.
- Flush Your Hot Water Tank
Flushing your hot water tank clears it of mineral sediment that can build up in the tank over time. That sediment can cause your tank to rust prematurely, shortening its life. Flush your hot water tank at least once a year.
- Protect Your Air Conditioner
Falling ice, branches and other debris can damage your outdoor A/C. Avoid waterproof A/C covers, as they can encourage small animals to take up residence inside your unit. Instead, simply place a piece of plywood on top of your unit to protect it from falling debris.
- Spruce Up Your Entryway
If the concrete or wood on your front walk or steps is damaged, repair it before cold weather sets in. Check the handrail to make sure it’s sturdy and well-anchored. Stock up on rock salt. Get your indoor entryway and mudroom ready for winter traffic, too.
Source: American Home Shield
ERA® and the ERA logo are registered service marks owned by ERA Franchise Systems LLC. Each ERA office is independently owned and operated. Supporter of the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Note: Always use proper safety precautions and consult with qualified professionals when necessary before attempting any home maintenance project. This material may contain suggestions and best practices that you may use at your discretion.