Late Winter Home Maintenance Tips
Winter came late to Pennsylvania, but come it did. Now we’ve all had a taste of the winter storms to come; it comes time to protect your home. You may have become aware of home maintenance steps you should have taken earlier, but it’s not too late to start practicing good winter home maintenance now. Need to get started on your late winter home maintenance tips? Here are some of our favorite tips to help you through the rest of the season:
Secure Window Wells
Window wells are often installed around windows that peek out of the basement of the home. They allow natural light to filter into the basement while protecting your windows from the nearby foundational soil. But window wells are particularly vulnerable in winter. Moisture and the weight from snowstorms can start to pull the material away from the house, which could in turn, put your windows at risk. Take time to make sure your window wells are secured to the well of the home and not damaged anywhere.
Reverse Your Ceiling Fans
Feeling chilly even inside? You can save energy and feel more comfortable at home by reversing your fans if they have a reverse switch. When your fans run in a clockwise direction, they’ll draw cool air up and push hot air down, effectively warming the space. This is a tactic primarily used in homes with high ceilings. Heat rises to the top of the room by nature. Reversing the fans helps to push that heat back down.
Make Use of the Mudroom
Winter weather means winter boots…which can also mean tracking in winter snow and sometimes road salt. Both of these elements can be hell on your flooring, especially in the entryway. Make sure that you have mats on the inside and outside of the home. If you have a mudroom — and if you don’t have a mudroom, you might consider having one added — now is the time to make the most use of it. Place shoes on a shoe rack or in a cubby. Hang coats up to dry before continuing into the rest of the house.
Check For Drafts
The last thing you want in the midst of winter weather is to deal with cold drafts indoors. You want to be able to feel comfortable in your own home, so make sure to check your windows and doors for any drafts. If you notice that the caulk around your windows is loose or chipped, fill it in right away. If you can see too much of a gap between the bottom of the door and the floor, you may need a replacement door or to fix the hinges. You can also check for drafts by holding a candle near the window or door. If the flame pulls in a particular direction, that means that there’s a draft that needs to be fixed. When it comes to windows, consider adding heavy curtains for the winter, too, to help hold heat in.
Protect Frozen Pipes
Frozen pipes can be a problem in the winter, as they can easily burst and cause more problems for your home. You can protect your pipes by adding insulation to your home as well as investing in pipe sleeves or heat tape. You might allow warm water to drip a little from your faucets as this will help to keep a stream of heated water going through the pipes. If you have a hose outside, unhook it from the house and put it away in a shed for the season.
Check and Replace Air Filters
As your furnace kicks up this season, your air filters are there to protect the indoor air quality of your home. Air filters capture airborne particles before they leave your vent so that the air you breathe in your home is easy and pure. However, if your air filter is clogged or hasn’t been replaced in a while, it won’t be able to do its job as well and could even cause issues for your furnace as well as your indoor air quality. Check your air filters now, but there’s a good chance you’ll have to replace them for the season.
Make Sure Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors Are Working
You want to be sure your carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors are working throughout the year. However, in winter, as we seek more solace from fireplaces, furnaces, and wood-burning stoves, fires are even more common. Make sure all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors are working, and check them monthly to make sure that they are still working. Be prepared to replace the batteries when needed.
Stock Up In Case of Storms
Severe winter storms that leave you stuck inside for days, possibly without power, are unusual, but they’re not unheard of. It’s a good idea to stay prepared just in case—stock up on non-perishable items, toilet paper, bottled water, flashlights, and batteries. While you’re able to go out to the store, you’ll want to make sure your produce is fresh. Keep an eye on weather forecasts so that you won’t be blindsided by any winter storms.
Sometimes the truth is that your home simply isn’t equipped for a severe winter. When that happens, it helps to have a remodeling professional who can help you to remodel and update your home until it’s safe and comfortable for all who live there. MBC Remodeling has over 20 years of local experience to help you with room additions and other remodeling projects. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a free consultation for your own home.