Now that those Christmas decorations are all up & you’ve sent out those Christmas Newsletters or Cards take time over one of the few remaining warm weekends to check off some simple home winter maintenance! These few tasks can save you big money on energy or damage repair costs from the harsh winter weather.

  1. It always seems to come back to water, right? Check & clean those gutters & downspouts. This can prevent water damage to roof, eaves, trim, siding & limit water around the foundation of your home!
  2. Have you had ice dams? More common in colder climates, this is when water refreezes near the edge of your roof due to poor venting or insulation. This dam then backs water up under your shingles causing leaks & damage. Have you attic venting & insulation reviewed for proper installation/operation. If you’ve had problems in the past consider having heat tapes installed at the edge of the roof for use during winter storms.
  3. Put together or check on your emergency supplies. Batteries (packs are available for your mobile devices as well, keep them charged up), Drinking water, shelf stable food, blankets, battery operated radio & flashlights.
  4. If you didn’t do it at the time change (I recommend doing this on the time change schedule because it’s easy to remember!) check & change the batteries in carbon monoxide & smoke detectors. If you have any gas or wood burning appliances you should have CO detectors!!
  5. Trim or thin trees close to your home. This can prevent or limit limb damage from heavier ice or snow.
  6. Remove those window screens. This has two benefits. One to improve natural light (free energy boost) from the sun. Two to prevent snow buildup between the screen & window which can lead to sill/window damage or leaks as it melts.
  7. Keep supplies & tools ready to clear walks & drive areas- snow shovels, brooms & ice melt. Look into natural ice melts that do less damage to sod & concrete. For our types of snow & ice snow blowers don’t often work well.
  8. Check weather stripping, seals & caulk at doors & windows. If you notice tears or gaps make repairs before it turns bitter cold out.
  9. If you have a fireplace or wood stove have the chimney professionally cleaned & serviced for safe operation. Chimney fires cause a lot of damage & deaths each year. Have gas fireplaces flues checked & log sets cleaned & serviced.
  10. Have your HVAC unit serviced & replace filters. Breakdown or emergency calls are expensive & can result in plumbing & home damage if they occur during extreme cold snaps.

Try to stay warm & safe out there!! Merry Christmas!!!