As summer turns to fall and fall turns to winter, your home experiences its share of changes in climate and precipitation. Winter is particularly filled with damaging weather that can impact the comfort and durability of your home. So, preparation becomes an important part of winter planning for both your home interior and exterior. The experts at Lakeside Renovation & Design have put this winter maintenance checklist together to help you navigate the changing of the seasons.
Can Your Home Withstand Winter?
A smart homeowner understands that the best care a home can receive is preventative maintenance, particularly home inspections. Not only does this save you time and money, avoiding costly repairs and replacements, but it also keeps your home the most comfortable and efficient during the winter season. There is a way to be confident in your home’s ability to last and keep you well protected, going into the winter months.
Why Should I Have My Home Inspected Pre-Winter?
A home inspection gives you added confidence in your home. It is preparation to face what may come. Not to mention, an annual home inspection improves the function and life expectancy of the various elements in your home.
Over time, siding wears down, roofing loses granules, furnaces can stop running properly— your home will overall get old and need repairing. Inspecting your home will help you catch these problem areas, which can save you from unexpected troubles and prevent major damage from occurring.
Before fall turns into winter, inspect your home from the outside in using our home maintenance checklist. Routine maintenance is your greatest weapon when it comes to combating the winter cold. Start from top to bottom to help catch as many problems as you can, and reach out to professionals for inspections when possible.
Our Yearly Winter Home Maintenance Checklist
Your roof should be inspected at least once a year and after severe storms. Pre-winter is a great time to revive any underperforming areas on your shingles. You can complete both a ground-level inspection and a rooftop inspection. Or contact a roofing professional for the safest inspection.
When inspecting your roof from the ground-level, look for areas where shingles may be lifted or curled. Loose granules on the ground also indicate a need for roof repairs. When inspecting your roof from your rooftop, do so only during sunny weather conditions and with the proper safety equipment. Look for cracks, dents, sparse granules, and missing or patchy shingles. You can also look for indications your roof may need a repair from your home’s interior. Climb into your attic and look for areas where light pours into the space. This will indicate patchiness or missing shingles. If you notice interior leaks or water spots on your ceiling, it may indicate a roof repair.
Your gutters need to be in their best shape to handle winter’s many forms of precipitation. Gutters help to extend the lifespan of your home’s roof, siding, foundation, and interior. Prepare them to perform their job of draining and diverting water runoff.
You can inspect your gutters from the ground. Look for obvious cracks, dents, and low-hanging areas in your gutters. Screws on the ground, damaged, water-stained siding, and obvious leaks are all indications you might need a gutter replacement. You can easily check for leaks by thoroughly cleaning your gutters (which should be completed pre-winter anyway), and running your hose through the gutters to see if water leaks out or gets backlogged in the downspouts.
Your siding has to be ready to face the wind, snow, rain, and sometimes even hail and ice. Walk the perimeter of your home, looking for gapping in the boards, holes, cracks, dents, buckling, warping, or chipped paint.
Give your siding a thorough cleaning and paint or seal your siding where needed. For larger issues with your siding, contact a professional to ensure your home is properly covered.
4. Windows and Doors
During the winter season, your home’s windows and doors provide the most likely regions for heat loss. When not properly sealed, they can also allow water penetration to your home’s interior. An inspection can be the difference in allowing these catastrophes to occur and making your home more efficient.
Check for cracked glass, frames, or broken seals around the framing, and consider adding weather stripping around drafty windows.
5. Pipes and Water Sources
Pipes and water sources need to not only be inspected before winter, but they also need special attention during the coldest nights of the year. Start with a visible inspection of all exposed piping. Look for cracks or leaks. Install insulation around pipes that are close to your home’s exterior.
When not in use, leave your faucets at a point where they slowly drip, just enough to keep water from standing and being able to freeze.
6. Fireplace and Heater
Contact a professional in your area to complete an assessment of your furnace. They will ensure it is clean, running efficiently, and all hoses are in top shape. You’ll also want to replace your furnace’s old filter, which enhances your home’s air quality and keeps debris from harming your furnace.
Your fireplace inspection will focus on three main areas: the interior, the chimney, and the damper. Check the brick and mortar of the fireplace (interior and exterior), looking for cracks or missing grout. Provide a thorough cleaning of any residue or buildup. Make sure your flue opens and closes all the way. And inspect the chimney for any interior obstructions. Contact a professional for the highest level of inspection, especially if your home has a gas fireplace. Remember that your eye is less likely to catch problem areas than a trained professional.
If you’re worried about the cold this winter, see our additional tips for staying warm.
Feel Confident in Your Home This Winter
The last thing you need to worry about this winter is the durability of your home. Performing winter home maintenance will help provide peace of mind that your home is ready to face the season ahead.
If you need a professional’s set of eyes to ensure your home is ready to weather the winter, contact our team at Lakeside Renovation & Design to get a free consultation.