The thing about winter maintenance of your home lies in the fact that it’s a topic that you need to think about before the winter arrives. Once the temperatures start falling below zero, it will become much more difficult to do anything.
Having a major heating system repair or an insulation project mid-winter is a late effort, when tradesmen may be booked out and your property may suffer the consequences. Here are some simple tips to help you prepare.
1. Insulate and seal holes
The first thing you need to keep in mind, comes the winter, is preparing your home to be as energy-efficient as possible. This is important for two major reasons. The first one concerns your budget. You see, the more energy-efficient the place is, the cheaper it is to keep it warm. The second one is the question of lifestyle quality. With poor insulation and holes in your home’s system, you’ll have a hard time reaching certain temperatures, regardless of your heating system. In order to improve on these two major issues, you need to do two things. First, study the ways in which heat leaves your home and insulate these critical points. Second, inspect your home in order to see if there are any cracks in the system.
2. Winterize outdoor plumbing
Another crucial issue that you need to focus on ahead of time is winterizing your outdoor plumbing. If any of the outdoor fixtures are malfunctioning, you should probably examine them or find blocked drain professionals to tend to them. Other than this, you might want to shut off the valve controlling these outdoor fixtures (it’s not like you’re going to take that backyard shower or irrigate your garden during winter). After this, you should let all the water from the plumbing system run out of the pipes and fixtures. By keeping your plumbing system dry, you’re avoiding a scenario in which the water inside them freezes and causes some serious damage.
3. Clean your gutters in time
The third thing you need to keep in mind is the fact that winter is the time of the year where the likelihood of a downpour or snow is substantially larger. Once this snow starts melting, your home’s drainage system will be put to a proper test. Now, in order to get to the drainage (and avoid overflowing your basement/drowning your garden), you need to get your gutters cleaned and keep them well-maintained as part of your general outdoor maintenance.
Ideally, you would clean your gutters twice per year (in spring and autumn). This is just one of the examples of how being proactive can help you out in the long run.
4. Tend to your heating system
Finally, you might want to check the heating system before you actually need to use it. Keep in mind that not all heating systems require the same amount of maintenance. For instance, if you have a wood stove, you might have to clean the chimney, as well as clean the stove itself on a regular basis. With some other systems, merely checking if they’re functional is the way to go.
Any repairs on the heating system are not your average DIY project, which is why they should be entrusted to professionals.
Naturally, this is far from everything there is to do. Come the winter, you might want to defrost your driveway and garden path, as well as clean them regularly to avoid a build up of moss or other slippery residues.