Home Maintenance Checklist for Winter

[Update]: This blog was first published on November 16, 2022, and updated on October 5, 2023.

Owning a home can be a dream come true, but it can become a nightmare without regular maintenance. It is essential to prepare your home for the colder months to ensure its longevity and help make it energy efficient. Protect your cozy real estate investment with these two comprehensive checklists before the holiday season.

Outdoor Home Winter Maintenance

  1. Roof: Inspect for damaged, loose or missing shingles and ensure that the flashings around chimneys, vents and skylights are watertight.
  2. Landscaping: Trim overhanging branches away from your house and powerlines. Add new mulch to flower beds to prevent weeds and fertilize the lawn. Don’t forget to rake and compost fallen leaves.
  3. Plants: Cut back any plants that go dormant in winter and opt in for cold weather resistant plants.
  4. Outside Faucets and Sprinklers: Turn off water to exterior faucets, drain hoses and store them indoors. Check insulation on pipes and purchase pipe covers for potential freezes. If your home has underground sprinklers, blow out the water in the pipes to prevent residual water from freezing and damaging the piping.
  5. Gutters and Downspouts: Repair and clean out any loose gutters and downspouts. Clogged gutters could result in debris or mud freezing and damage the whole system or even leak into your home.
  6. Foundation and Openings: Inspect your foundation. Sealing any cracks can help prevent water damage and deter critters from seeking warmth in your home. Don’t forget the dryer vent.
  7. Driveways and Walkways: Check for cracks and uneven sections to prevent trips and falls and ensure they are ready for ice and snow. Put reflectors along the driveway to facilitate snow removal.
  8. Lawn Equipment: Clean and store summer gardening tools and prep any tools needed like snow blowers and ice rakes to ensure they are ready to use.

Indoor Home Winter Maintenance

  1. Heating System: Change air filters in HVAC system and return-air registers. Go the extra mile by scheduling a professional tune-up for your heating system.
  2. Fireplace: Open and clean out the chimney flue. Don’t forget to check the damper for proper opening and closing.
  3. Water Heater: Drain sediment from the bottom of the tank and check for any signs of leaks or rust.
  4. Insulation: Ensure that your home is adequately insulated to conserve energy, especially in your attic and basement.
  5. Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors: Check batteries in fire and smoke alarms and in carbon monoxide detectors.
  6. Ceiling Fans: Reverse the direction of ceiling fans to push warm air downward.
  7. Emergency Kits: Stock up on winter storm supplies, including flashlights, batteries, candles and non-perishable food, water and necessary medication. Make sure to recharge or replace fire extinguishers as well.
  8. Weatherproofing: Check weather stripping around doors and windows and add insulation or caulking where needed. Adding heavy curtains can also help prevent drafts.

We hope you find this checklist useful. By attending to these tasks in the fall, homeowners can safeguard their property against potential damage during the winter while ensuring a comfortable haven in time for the holidays. Remember, even if you don’t live in an area that sees winter weather, it’s always good practice to stay on top of home repairs and maintenance to get the most out of your real estate investment.

Looking for more tips on protecting your asset or thinking about selling? Make sure to check out our Home Buyer and Seller Corner.

Want More? Check out these articles:
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Winter Home Improvements That Add Value to Your Home

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