winter home maintenance tips

Winter Home Maintenance

Inches of white, fluffy powder can make for a wonderful snow day, but it can also wreak havoc with icy streets, fallen tree limbs, and frozen pipes. A little bit of preventative maintenance will allow you to enjoy these beautiful days relaxing, instead of scrambling to fix household problems. Here is a list of items to address before and during the cold winter months:

Trim overhanging trees/limbs.
The added weight of snow and ice can bend and break tree limbs. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Clear paths of snow and ice.
Shoveling snow and ice from walkways, driveways, and sidewalks will greatly reduce the risk of slipping. Also, apply salt to stairs and other heavily traveled areas to increase traction.

Professionally clean all fireplaces.
Wood-burning fireplaces and stoves should be cleaned annually by a professional chimney sweep to prevent creosote buildup in the flue. Gas fireplaces should be checked, too.

Prevent frozen pipes.
Insulate the pipes where needed. Leave faucets dripping on those really cold nights, and keep the heat above 60 degrees.

Make sure smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are functioning.
Check frequently and replace the batteries as needed.

Make this list an annual one, and you’ll retain home value, peace of mind, and the extra change in your wallet.