It’s that time of year. The leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping. With the Holidays right around the corner, it’s also one of the busiest times of the year. Is your house ready for the change in season?
If you’re a homeowner, then protecting your home using these preventative maintenance tips should be a top priority. The last thing you want is to get stuck with an expensive repair right after you’ve just purchased a home.
1. Get your Furnace Tuned-up
After sitting all Summer, your heating system has probably collected dust and sediment. The last thing you want is to turn on the heat when it gets cold out and find out that your system is not working, or worse, start a fire in your home! Call your local HVAC technician and have them perform a checkup every Fall. They will clean your system, replace your oil filters and make sure you’re ready for the cold weather.
2. Keep the Cold Air Out (and the Warm Air In)
Now that your heating system is good to go, make sure your home isn’t losing heat. Start by sealing up your windows and doors so that there are no gaps letting cold air in or warm air out. If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when you’re not using it. Add insulation to your attic and walls for maximum efficiency.
3. Avoid Frozen Pipes
Start by turning off the water to your exterior hose bibs, then open the valves and let any excess water drain. Remove any hoses that were connected and store them in your garage. If you have any pipes that are exposed to extreme temperatures, wrap them in insulation. Run water through them occasionally so they don’t freeze.
4. Clean Out Your Gutters
Remove leaves and other debris from your gutters that may otherwise cause them to clog. If your gutters are not able to drain properly the water will freeze. This can cause ice damming which can push water underneath your shingles and damage your roof, causing leaks. The shear weight of the ice may also cause your gutters to bend and break.
5. Prepare Your Landscaping for Spring
As a homeowner, you're responsible for maintaining the land as well. Mulching your leaves instead of raking can help insulate your grass for winter and promote growth in the Spring. Cut back your shrubs. This will also prepare them for strong growth when the weather turns. If you have a fireplace, chop your firewood now and store it in a dry and accessible place.
6. Seal Driveway Cracks
Take care of sealing any cracks in your driveway before temperatures begin to freeze. Water will ultimately rest in these cracks, and when frozen will expand and make things much worse. Eventually your driveway will begin to break apart if left without repair.
The best way to protect your home through an unpredictable Maryland winter is through preventative maintenance. If you have other useful tips, please email me. Stay warm, enjoy your home and happy holidays!