Winter Checklist for Homeowners
Owning a home requires seasonal maintenance in order to keep important systems working properly. Most families stay inside the majority of the winter season. There are some tasks that need to take place before large amounts of snow or cold temperatures accumulate.
Hoses that remain outside for a long period of time collect water inside of them even after they are turned off. Before temperatures reach freezing, drain out the hose by taking one end and lifting it while moving down the hose line. Bring the hose inside so that it does not freeze and can be used the next spring season.
Flower pots, outdoor furniture, and decorative pillows should be covered before the first freeze. If a place to store them is available, this would be the safest option. With flower pots, the soil inside of them gets wet from snow or rain and when the temperature gets to freezing, the soil expands and breaks ceramic flower pots. If you cannot store them inside, empty the soil and cover them during the winter.
This material is typically what a home relies on to keep warm air inside while the ground around it freezes. Make sure any pipes that are close to a window have plenty of insulation around them to prevent freezing. Check the insulation around walls, crawlspaces and in the attic. Adding insulation material could prevent your heating system from running for a long period of time, driving the heating bill up.
Winters can be harshly dry in many areas. Air that is cold and dry can cause irritated skin, discomfort while sleeping, and can worsen cold symptoms such as congestion. A humidifier can bring moisture into the air by water vapor spreading throughout your home. The humidity level in your home during the winter should be between 25 and 40 percent. Most standard humidifiers come with a built-in humidistat that turn off the machine when the right level is detected.
Before the first snow, any leaves that are blocking your gutters should be cleaned out. This helps the snow drain correctly once it melts. Make sure the downspouts from the gutters are turned away from your home to prevent any leaks in the basement or foundation.
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