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The Ultimate 2022 Winter Home Maintenance Checklist

By January 10, 2022 No Comments
Prepare your home for winter with this ultimate home maintenance checklist.

The holiday season may be over, but the winter is still in full swing. To escape the bone-chilling temperatures, people tend to stay safe in their warm and toasty homes. Whether you are a homeowner or renting, there are a few things you can do to prepare your house for a risk-free and comfortable winter.
At DJW Property Management, our goal is to make sure that your property is protected from the harsh winter weather. In order to do that, we’ve prepared the ultimate winter home maintenance checklist.

1. Outdoor Safety and Maintenance

The first step in winter maintenance is taking care of the exterior of your home. This is where all the major and expensive damages can occur. To properly make sure the exterior of your home is ready for winter, we suggest you:

  • Clear out rain gutters to avoid ice dams.
  • Buy a sturdy snow shovel (We recommend one with a metal tip).
  • Stock up on Ice Melt Salt for walkways and driveways.
  • Close foundation vents.
  • Winterize pipes.

Winterize Pipes

When water freezes, it expands. Unfortunately, the pipes used to transfer water throughout your property do not expand with the formation of ice, potentially leaving you with a major problem.
If you do find yourself with a burst water pipe, locate your water valve immediately and turn the water off before calling a professional for help.
***To avoid the possibility of cracked or bursting water pipes, it’s best to winterize your water pipes before the onset of winter.***
If you are renting your home and have access to a landscaping professional, they usually take care of this service for you. However, if you don’t have someone doing this for you there are several things you can do to properly winterize your outdoor faucets.

How to Winterize Pipes

  • Make sure all hoses are detached from water spigots.
  • Make sure all pipes are well insulated. This is a standard procedure for most northern states.
  • Drain all hoses, spigots and pipes.
  • Add outdoor faucet covers.
  • Check for any leaks from water spigots.

Ice Melt

Ice Melt Salt seems like a normal grocery store commodity for people who are used to the snowy seasons. But if you are new to the area, you may be wondering how you can combat the ice on your driveways and walkways.
A simple solution to dissolving those difficult icy patches and preventing more from accumulating is to sprinkle Ice Melt Salt often.

How does salt melt ice?
When the ice melt salt is applied to a surface and then snowed upon, a chemical reaction occurs that results in a brine that melts the ice. Not only does the salt dissolve the ice already on the surface, but it also reacts with new ice/snow.
Ice Melt comes in a variety of forms that range from palettes, salts or liquids.

  • Sprinkle Ice Melt on driveway and walkways BEFORE it snows.
  • Apply Ice Melt often.
  • Do not apply Ice Melt to concrete that is less than 2 years old (can damage).

***Pet safe ice melt is also available to keep your fur family safe from chemicals. If you are unsure of the pet safety of your ice melt salt, be sure to wipe off your pet’s paws when they come back inside your warm home. This will lessen the chance of your furry friend licking harmful chemicals.

Ice Dams

An Ice Dam is the accumulation of frozen water that prevents melted snow and ice from draining off your roof. When heat from your house melts the under layer of snow, it can create a pool of water that quickly freezes to ice beneath the layers of snow. The ice dam then becomes a sort of ridge that prevents melted snow from naturally draining off the roof.
A major reason ice dams are a problem is because they can cause mold and mildew to form on your roof and seep into your home. This can cause respiratory issues and very expensive home repairs.

How to prevent ice dams:

  • Have a contractor check and inspect your roof before winter.
  • Look for any areas (including attics) that show signs of heat escape.

How to remove ice dams on roof:

  • Use a rake to scrape the ice gently from your roof. Don’t chop away ice because it may damage your roofing.
  • Place a space heater indoors beneath the roof to encourage melting.
  • Use Ice Melt.

Removing the Ice Dam from your roof is only a temporary solution to a very serious problem. If you notice you have an ice dam, professional roof care will be needed to fix and prevent any damage to your home.

Indoor Appliances

Exterior home safety and maintenance is important for obvious reasons. But what about inside your home? The appliances used to keep your house warm and toasty need to be serviced at least once a year for optimal safety and efficiency.

  • Have your Heater and Boiler Checked.
  • Replace the filter in your furnace.
  • Have your chimney inspected.

Chimney Inspection

If you have a fireplace, this one is super important. Your fireplace should be inspected and cleaned at least once a year- preferably right before winter when the use of it increases exponentially.
Following the fall months, chimneys often find themselves cluttered with sticks and leaves. Like your gutters, chimneys also need to be cleared of any debris before use. This is especially important in avoiding any unwanted fires.
Cleaning the fireplace will also increase heat efficiency. Removing debris allows more oxygen to reach and fuel the flames of the burning season.
For Gas Fireplaces:

  • Check the glass covering for cracks. This cover prevents carbon monoxide from seeping through.
  • Clean the logs and rocks to prevent that awful dusty burnt smell.
  • Consider a Chimney balloon. These are used to prevent debris and animals from falling into the chimney and weather ingress.

For Wood Fireplaces:

  • Clear out all ash from the fireplace hearth and fireplace floor.
  • Make sure the fireplace damper is working properly.
  • Have your chimney inspected for creosote. Creosote is highly flammable and accumulates in the flue of the chimney.

Indoor Essentials

Now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty. Staying cozy in your home has its perks. It also has a couple of disadvantages when it comes to the cleanliness of your home.
Air circulation throughout the house is at a low during the winter months due to windows and doors remaining closed. It’s easy to want to hibernate and avoid the typical cleanliness that comes with comfort, but the accumulation of heat and moisture is a breeding ground for all sorts of bacteria and germs which is why it is essential to maintain cleanliness within your house in the wintertime.

  • Deep clean all kitchen cabinets.
  • Check all fire and carbon monoxide alarms.
  • Wash all blankets and comforters-especially family room ones.
  • Deep clean garbage bins.
  • Stock up on essentials. Have enough non-perishable foods and extra water available in case of a power outage.
  • Be prepared for a power outage. This includes flashlights, batteries, and candles.
  • Adjust your thermostat to cooler temperatures when out of the house but to heat up when you are home.
  • Open all vents for your heating system.
  • Change the direction of your ceiling fans to clockwise. This will push warm air down and the cool air up.
  • Prepare your doorway for guests. Add a boot scraper and doormat that will help your guests shake off any snow before entering your home. Maybe include an area to keep wet boots to avoid trampling of snow throughout your house.

If you are renting your home, your property manager usually has a list of local expert vendors they trust to provide these services. At DJW Property Management, we can connect you with the best professionals to help you maintain your property in a safe and cost effective way.