5 Key Maintenance Tasks to Prepare Your Home for Winter

The days are getting shorter, the temperature is dropping and the kids have been back to school for a couple of months now. Fall is here and winter is just around the corner. The question is – is your home ready? Break out your checklist and let's run through five key maintenance tasks that will help get your home prepared to face the winter.

Patio Furniture

The arrival of winter means you might have to close up the patio for the season. It's time to get chairs, tables and other furniture covered up or stored if you have space. The most important thing to keep in mind is to protect it from the elements. Additionally, if you want your patio furniture to last longer, a little prep work prior to storage will make a huge difference. For example, if you notice any rusty areas on wrought iron furniture, now is the time to sand those areas down and apply a coat of high quality, exterior spray paint to it. For other materials, here’s a link to a great guide to treating other common patio furniture materials: Winterizing Your Patio Furniture

Windows

Next, take some time to inspect your windows for drafts, leaks and other issues. This can be as easy as shutting them tight on a windy day and using placing your hand around the window to determine if any air is leaking in. Caulk around any problematic windows. Be sure to replace any windows which are cracked or damaged.  For more good information on winterizing windows, check out this article by Popular Mechanics: How to Winterize Drafty Windows

Garden, Plants And Flower Beds

Unless you have a garden full of robust, cold-loving plants, it's likely that you will see most of them die off as we move from autumn into winter. After this happens, spend some time turning down your gardens and other areas. This can help to move nutrients into the soil where they'll be ready to nourish new plants in the spring. Special care should be taken with disease-prone plants. According to HGTV, you should clean up any plant debris beneath such plants as they could provide hiding places for those pesky diseases and pests.

Furnace and Heating Ducts

If you haven't used it in a few months, now is the time to fire up the furnace and check your home's heating system. Trust us when we tell you to test your furnace BEFORE freezing weather sets in. You’ll thank us when you discover your furnace isn’t working properly and aren’t frantically trying to find a repairman who can get to you before the next millennium while you do what you can to keep warm in the meantime. If it seems to be in good working order, make sure you have a new filter in place. Another good idea is to clean your vents and ducts. Unless you suspect a mold or mildew problem inside your ductwork, it’s good enough to simply vacuum out your ducts using a good vacuum extension hose.

Roof And Gutters

Last but not least, don't forget to check your roof for any damage. Check the gutters to ensure they are clear of debris. Keep in mind that this does involve climbing up a ladder and physically inspecting these areas. If you're not good with heights or don't own the proper equipment, don't sweat it. Give a professional roofing team a call and have them handle the inspection instead.