Seasonal Home Maintenance Checklist

Secure Your Home and Windows for the winter

It starts with just one leaf catching your eye when you’re out walking the dog. In a few short weeks that leaf turns into piles crunching underfoot. Before you know it, you’ll be bundling up in your winter coat and everything will be covered with a blanket of snow.   Some animal parts of our brains can feel winter coming right from the first fallen leaf. It’s time to get ready. In winter, our houses become our whole world. Time spent now on making your burrow warm and secure will pay off through all those chilly winter evenings. 

Stock up on emergency supplies

Weather predictions are always anyone’s best guess. You’d be wise to expect the best and prepare for the worst. Stock up now, and you’ll be ready for everything from the lightest sprinkling of snow to the heaviest surprise dump.  So what do you need? You know there’s going to be a mad rush on milk and bread, but go a level deeper. Do you have the supplies to deal with a power outage? Where do you keep the candles, and when was the last time you checked those flashlight batteries? A hand-crank radio and a juiced-up phone recharging station could be a real lifesaver.   It’s smart to use this time of year to check out all of your snow removal equipment. Make sure everything is in proper working order. After all, there’s no running out to the store for a bag of salt and a shovel when your car is snowed in. Get ahead of the problem now. 

Keep Santa’s chimney clean

Pick up the phone and schedule a chimney cleaning. Seriously, go and do it right now. This is their busy season, and for good reason. Over time your chimney builds up layers of highly flammable creosote. There are over 25,000 chimney fires per year, with a corresponding cost of approximately $125 million in property damage.   A blocked flue or chimney can also lead to carbon monoxide in the home. Check the batteries on all of your carbon monoxide detectors, and while you‘re at it, check the smoke detectors as well.  If you have a non-working fireplace in your home, make sure that the flue is closed. You may also want to consider investing in a chimney balloon to prevent heat escape during the coldest months. 

Time for tree maintenance

Now that the trees have given up their leaves, take a good look at the branches. When the rain turns to snow and the snow turns to ice, those branches get mighty heavy. Are there branches that could cause damage if they fell? Have a tree service come out and give your trees a prune. They will look so much nicer once they are covered with Christmas lights.  When you take out the ladder to hang the lights, give another look to your gutters. You may have already done a leaf clean out earlier in the season, but double-check to make sure water flows out and away from the home. Ice buildup in the gutters and on the roof will start an expensive chain reaction of repairs. Give them one last inspection to be safe.

Get ready to get cozy

Getting cozy may mean throwing on a pair of wool socks or piling on an extra blanket at night. But eventually, you’ll be relying on your thermostat. Keeping your home at a comfortable temperature is a big job. Make sure that your home’s heating system has gotten the maintenance it needs, including changing out the filters periodically. It’s time to swap out your home's door and window screens. When you are installing your storm windows, take a look at the overall condition of your windows. If you have windows that frost up or fog, then you’ve got a window with a broken seal. Homes lose 25-30% of their energy usage through windows. That’s a lot of heat loss! The older your windows, the higher that percentage. A drafty home costs you comfort — not to mention potentially hundreds of dollars in utility bills. It’s time to stop taping plastic over drafty, single-pane windows in the winter. Upgrade to energy star-rated, energy efficient windows, and you’ll save tons of money on utility costs, not to mention enjoying your cozy and pleasant home all winter long. Give Window Nation a call to get a free window quote and upgrade your windows today.

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