We’re already well into autumn, so winter isn’t far away. As such, it’s important not just to prep yourself for the upcoming season, but your house as well. Home maintenance is very much a seasonal affair. With respective holiday celebrations and sometimes drastic weather changes, many things around the house need to be checked regularly. Not doing the necessary inspections and maintenance around your abode could mean a bigger hassle for you when the season is done. Here’s a home maintenance checklist to prepare you for winter.
Prep your lawn
Your lawn is a living, breathing part of your house — literally. If your area gets cold or even snowy in the winter, you have to make sure it’ll still be alive in the spring. Temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit will make your grass grow so slow you won’t need to mow your lawn in the winter. Lawn grasses that experience such temperatures in the winter need to be fertilized in the late fall.
Check for pests
Just because it’s nearly wintertime doesn’t mean you should slack off on your pest control. While it’s generally known that summer is the peak season for pests, winter is not without its fair share either. In fact, the cold weather might prompt pesky blighters to seek warmth inside your home. As such, don’t rule out the possibility of calling pest control services.
Cover your outdoor furniture and installations
Cover your outdoor fire pit if you have one. If you live in a snowy area, there won’t be a need for outdoor fires. It would be better to stay inside where the heating and hot chocolate are.
If you have a swimming pool, test and treat the water before covering it up for the season. Use a test kit to determine the pH level of your water. Also, test the water for calcium levels and alkalinity. A few days before you cover the pool, add extra chlorine to keep the water fresh throughout the season.
Clean your oven
The holiday season is probably the time of the year when we spend the most time in the kitchen. You can use a store-bought oven cleaner, or you can craft a concoction of baking soda, water, and vinegar.
Check your roof and gutters
We can often forget that the roof and gutters need maintenance because they hang overhead. But prepping them for winter is essential, especially since they’ll be taking on the weight of leaves and snow. While you can still have your roof and gutters checked during the winter, it’s better to do it before. Pity whoever would have to go out in the cold to check on them if a problem arises.
Clean or change your air conditioner’s filters
Regardless of what season it is, you should be changing or cleaning this once every month or two. The dirt that accumulates in the filters over time results in a more costly electricity bill. For the winter, cover the air conditioner’s outdoor component to protect it from snow and dust.
Clean the fireplace
This is one of the dirtiest house chores out there, but it’s necessary if you plan on using your fireplace in the winter. Line the surrounding area with newspapers to avoid getting soot everywhere. Wear protective face gear such as a face mask and goggles while you clean the chimney.
Ready your snowstorm essentials
The weather can be harsh this time of year, so make sure you have all the equipment to keep it warm and cozy. Examine your generator and heating appliances. If your area gets snowy, make sure you have your de-icers, snow blowers, rakes, and shovels ready.
Check your holiday decor and fire safety equipment
Just because it’s colder doesn’t mean your home is any safer from fires. You may, in fact, be more at risk for them in winter. Christmas lights, holiday feasts, candles, and fireplaces all pose potential fire hazards for your household.
See to it that you check on your smoke detectors. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, you should test your smoke alarms once a month and replace their batteries once or twice a year. If the alarm was manufactured more than 10 years ago, replace it.
If you plan on putting up Christmas lights, check on the ones you have. Make sure the wires aren’t worn. Don’t hang them up where doors or windows will close on them, because this could damage the wires. Keep them away from major heat sources. Switch to LED Christmas lights if you haven’t yet. They save on electricity and don’t get hot to the touch. Regardless of whether your Christmas lights are LED, never leave them alight the whole night.
As the seasons change, so do many things around your house. With holiday preparations and often extreme weather changes or conditions, your home and your appliances go through a natural process of wear and tear. Make sure to check them regularly to keep things intact and refreshed so that they can see you through the seasons to come.