Winter weather can be harsh on your home. The below-freezing temperatures can cause a number of problems, including frozen pipes and roof damage. Taking care of your home can seem daunting for new homeowners but we don’t want it to be overwhelming. Things that might seem small, when not properly addressed, can become costly large issues in the future. A home functions with the seasons, coming to life in the spring and hunkering down in the winter.
Our team at Buffalo Modular Homes has put together this guide to help you keep your new home “healthy”. Our checklist will follow the seasons making home maintenance become a natural part of your routine. To prevent winter harm and avoid calling a professional in the middle of a blizzard, be sure to check these winter items off your home maintenance checklist:
Keep in mind, If any of the jobs go beyond your skill level or lead to more involved repairs, hire a professional to help.
- Cover your air-conditioning unit.
- Check basement for leaks during thaws.
- Inspect the roof, gutters, and downspouts for damage after storms.
- Vacuum bathroom exhaust fan grill.
- Vacuum refrigerator and freezer coils and empty and clean drip trays.
- Clean drains in sinks, tubs, showers, and dishwashers.
- Check windows and doors on the exterior for possible air or water leaks – make sure the weep holes are clear at the bottom on the outside.
- Inspect caulking around windows for cracks or separation from the window or building.
- Check the roof for loose shingles, tiles or shakes. Make sure vents are in good condition and are not blocked with debris.
- If you have large trees or shrubs close to the home, make sure they are trimmed well back to avoid branches damaging the exterior of the home, the shingles or interfering with vents.
- Check for leaves and debris in gutters and eavestroughs – check for blockages at the down-pipe connections.
- Have gas heating systems inspected by a certified professional
- Vacuum and clean out forced air registers (vents) and ductwork in your home.
- Remove the hoses and any diverter manifolds or other attachments from the hose bib itself.
- Remember to turn outside water outlets off and drain exterior faucets of water before winter! Make sure all hoses and appliances are disconnected to allow water to drain out. Some new homes have the hose bibs inside the garage or a utility room – these too should have the hoses disconnected before freezing temperatures.
- Check all the vents outside your home; the combustion vent intake, the dryer vent and the range hood vent. Make sure they are all clear, functional and the screens are clean.
- Check the attic for leaks, check the insulation, look for blocked vents and look to see if any daylight is coming in through the roof or around chimneys (may indicate a leak or hole).
- Replace the furnace filters, check fan belt and lubricate the motor if required (may require a technician).
- Clean and test all the smoke alarms – check or replace the batteries.
- Test all the Ground Fault Circuit Interrupters (GFCIs) and all the panel breakers.
- Remove ice and snow from porches and concrete stairs as soon as possible – don’t use salts or other chemicals that will damage the concrete to melt or disperse ice.
- In freezing or snow conditions check for ice dams on the overhangs of the roof
- Occasionally open windows to allow the house to air out (weather permitting).
- Avoid overloading circuits with heaters, light decorations or appliances during the winter.
- Remember water supply to the exterior faucets and drain hose bibs (remove diverters too) before freezing temperatures.
- If you have an in-ground sprinkler system, make sure it is properly drained and winterized before freezing temperatures.
- Check that your faucets are not leaking – this will save you money especially on your hot water heating costs.
- Check all the CO (Carbon Monoxide) detectors for operation. This is especially important in winter.
- Do not pile snow against the side of your home
Additionally, there are a few things that should be addressed monthly, these are primarily the mechanicals of your home. They are the most used and taken for granted parts of your new home, until something doesn’t work.
- Clean the furnace filter to remove dust build-ups, make it easier to regulate your home’s temperature, and ultimately decrease utility bills.
- Check the water softener and replenish salt if necessary.
- Clean faucet aerators and shower heads to remove mineral deposits.
- Inspect tub and sink drains for debris; unclog.
- Test smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers, and all ground-fault circuit interrupters.
- Inspect electrical cords for wear.
- Vacuum heat registers and all vents.
- Check that indoor and outdoor air vents are not blocked especially the dryer vent!
- Flush out hot water from the water heater to remove accumulated sediment.
- Clean the garbage disposal by grinding ice cubes, then flushing with hot water and baking soda.
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