Old man winter in the northern states can be brutal for your home if the proper steps are not taken to get it prepared. Taking care of these routine items can save you thousands of dollars by preventing costly repairs caused by things like bursting pipes or ice dam build-ups. We visit our client’s homes once a quarter to tackle the seemingly never-ending list of routine maintenance tasks. Below is a list of the items that we feel are most neglected when we take on a new client in the winter months:
Winterizing your outdoor faucets and disconnecting your hoses is extremely important. You may not realize it now but as the water freezes and that ice slowly creeps into your home, your pipes can burst! We’ve heard too many horror stories of people leaving on vacation and coming home to a burst pipe. Before they left, they turned the thermostat temperature down to save on their utility bill. This small temperature drop allowed the cold to move a little farther into the home causing the pipe to burst! It can also happen even if you leave the temperature above 70 degrees. Don’t risk it!
Your sump pump can still run throughout the winter. It’s very important to make sure that the water can get out and away from the home. If you have a black, corrugated hose attached at the outside of your home, we recommend disconnecting it over the winter months. Don’t forget to attach it again in the spring to get that water out and away from your foundation.
If your gutter downspouts risk getting clogged, we recommend disconnecting them at the ground level. This is especially important if your gutters discharge into a ground drain. The water will eventually freeze and not drain. As snow melts off your roof, it slowly builds up and can cause ice dams as the water has nowhere to drain.
If you have a combustion air intake or HRV (aka air exchanger) this is a good time of the year to clear off that intake. Bees like to frequent these areas in the warm months. Clearing them off late in the fall when the insects are gone reduces your risk of getting stung. You may also find dust and debris has collected in these areas. We like to use a long, thin brush to clean that debris out of the way and allow air to freely flow through.
Owning a home can be daunting and that is why we are here to help. If you have any questions about the routine maintenance items that are required at your home, give us a call. We provide a free maintenance walkthrough showing you all the items that we would take care of if we lived in your home. If you have additional items that you do to winterize your home, let us know by commenting below.