Winter is a beautiful season, but it may take a harsh toll on vulnerable areas of your home. For this reason, most home service companies suggest that you make some preparations to protect your home’s integrity against the elements. Building a strong and stable Custom Home is important, but it is just as important to maintain it as the seasons change.
Below, we offer a few fall season preparation tips to keep your home in great shape throughout the colder months:
11 Home Maintenance Steps to Prep for Winter
- Fertilize and Water Lawn
Don’t put away your hoses or sprinkler systems yet! Your lawn still needs maintenance before the ground starts to freeze. Watering your lawn before then will help it to recover from the strenuous summer heat. Also, take time to fertilize your lawn so it’ll be nourished during the dormant season.
- Shut Down Your Outdoor Water Systems
Before winter’s freezing temperatures, shut off your outdoor water systems. These can include your pool, fountain, or sprinkler system. Neglecting to switch these off before temperatures drop can result in pipe damage. Fixing these damages can be costly, but you can easily avoid them.
- Drain Garden Hoses
Many homeowners forget to detach and drain their garden hoses before putting them away for winter. While it’s usually not a problem, the excess water left behind may damage the water spigots and split garden hoses open.Prevent the added cost of replacement by detaching and draining them before the freezing temperatures arrive.
- Keep Your Pipes Warm
You can do this by wrapping your pipes with foam insulation and keeping your home’s interior at a consistently warm temperature, even while you’re not home.This technique also keeps your water system functioning efficiently over the cold winter months, ensuring they stay warm. It reduces the strain on your water heater and the amount of energy it needs to keep your water warm as well.
- Clear Out Your Gutter System
Make sure your gutters are clean and clear before winter begins. During the fall season, gutters are prone to debris buildup but cleaning them out on a regular basis will make it easier for excess water to flow through them.
- Install Extended Downspouts
For further upkeep, install downspout extensions to release water several feet away from your home’s perimeter. This will ensure that it doesn’t seep into the ground too close to your home’s foundation, protecting it from potential water and foundation damage in the future.
- Clean Out Window Wells
Similar to your gutters, window wells are prone to debris buildup and may even flood if the debris isn’t cleared out. This can be a hazard to your basement or foundation so be sure to check if your window well is clear before winter sets in.
- Clean Chimney
The frequency of cleaning your chimney depends on the wood you burn and how often you use it. However, The National Fire Protection Association Standard 211 states, “Chimneys, fireplaces, and vents shall be inspected at least once a year for soundness, freedom from deposits, and correct clearances. Cleaning, maintenance, and repairs shall be done if necessary.”Additionally, The Chimney Safety Institute of America suggests that “fireplaces be swept at ⅛” of soot buildup,” as this is enough to lead to an uncontrollable chimney fire potentially spreading throughout your home.
- Clean & Protect Your Outdoor Furniture
Outdoor furniture can be left out during the fall and winter but it can still receive damage if not properly maintained. Be sure to clean off any dirt buildup and apply a protective sealant before storing it away or covering it during the colder months.
- Change Heating & Cooling Filters
This is one of the easiest home maintenance steps you can take to keep your HVAC systems in great shape as the season changes. Ensure that all filters are swapped out and replaced with a new filter before using your heater for the first time this season.
- Check Smoke Detectors
During the fall, check if your smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors are working. With heaters turned on and windows closed, ensuring your detectors’ batteries are replaced will give you peace of mind. Keep in mind, smoke detectors last for about 10 years while CO detectors typically last around six years.
Paradigm Homes: Custom Home Builders Available in Oakton, VA
The above are just a few of the ways you can prepare your home for the coming winter. At Paradigm Homes, our Custom Home Builders are dedicated to serving homeowners and buyers throughout Oakton, VA, and Northern Virginia with beautiful and functional home designs. We offer comprehensive Design/Build, Custom Home, and reliable Pop Top Addition services and assist clients in finding land plots to purchase, connecting them with various financing options, and much more.
Contact us at (703) 476-5877 to learn more about our services and get started on your own project today!