5 Must-Do Tasks for Winter Home Maintenance
As you’ve probably already figured out, being a homeowner means caring for your house through all the seasons. In winter, there’s not a ton of items on your to-do list. However, these items are still important. In fact, they’re crucial for maintaining your home’s solid structure and beautiful interior. Here are the five tasks you must do for your winter home maintenance.
1. Look for ice dams.
Ice can be particularly damaging to your home in several areas. One of the most common spots for damage is the roof.
Whether you’re having an ice storm or just an average winter storm where you water freezes to ice, you want to look for ice dams. Ice dams happen when water doesn’t make it to and through your gutters to drain. Instead, the water freezes and ice forms on your shingles.
Ice dams are particularly damaging because, as some parts of the roof may start to thaw, the water discovers it has nowhere to drain. Instead, it runs down the roof until it meets more ice. This lower ice prevents the water from draining.
With nowhere to drain, this water sits on your roof, eventually getting under shingles, and leaking into your home. Often, ice dams cause damage to the roof and possibly interior ceilings.
Keep in mind, ice dams can happen when your gutters are blocked or full, but they can happen even if your gutters are clean.
If you do notice you’re starting to have an ice dam, don’t worry. Most hardware stores sell heating strips for your roof that will melt the ice and help everything drain efficiently. While you’re looking at your roof...
2. Keep your eyes open for icicles.
Although the icicle Christmas lights are pretty, it’s not a look you want to create naturally on your house once the holidays are over. Icicles normally hang from your gutters. They can be a sign that your gutters are filled with debris, or it might just be improperly draining water that has now frozen to ice.
No matter what the cause of your icicles is, you want to do something before these beautiful-but-heavy decorations wreak havoc on your home’s exterior. Sometimes, the weight of icicles can be enough to start to dislodge your gutters.
If you notice icicles hanging from your home, it’s best to try to carefully remove them while you figure out what caused them in the first place. If you discover your gutters were full, clean your gutters. You might also think about adding heat strips to your roof if you think your icicles formed because of pooling water.
3. Protect your floors.
With winter comes increased moisture. Whether you live in an area with snow or just increased rain, your shoes are going to be bringing more water into your house and onto your floors than usual.
To combat this extra wetness, have throw rugs and runners placed near your doors and down the most popular paths through your home. This way, when the extra moisture does enter your home, your floors will be as protected as possible.
4. Protect your pipes.
When pipes get too cold, they have a tendency to burst or start to leak. This means additional water that could be either inside or outside your home. As we already know, water can be especially damaging to a home—no matter where it’s found.
In order to help prevent the rupture of your pipes, you need to make sure the areas of your house where there are pipes are above 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, you could add foam insulation around your pipes or keep your faucets slightly dripping. (The theory is that running water doesn’t freeze.)
5. Keep your driveway and sidewalks clear.
Keeping your driveway and sidewalks clear of snow and ice is helpful for both your home and the people who live in it. With no snow or ice on the driveway and sidewalks, it’s less likely ice can bust up your concrete or decorative paving. Plus, when these walkways are cleared, it makes it significantly less likely for a friend or loved one to fall outside your home.
There are many options for snow and ice removal. You can handle the job yourself (or pawn it off on your kids as a “character-building experience”) with a shovel and salt. Or, you can hire the job out to neighborhood kids or professionals.
One benefit to using a professional for snow and ice removal is that you get to free yourself from the mental and physical stress of having to remove the snow yourself. Often, professionals can salt your driveway for you before the bad weather starts and clear everything off right before you have to leave for work in the morning.
Are you thinking of reducing your home maintenance?
If you’re thinking of down-sizing or moving to a new home that requires less maintenance, the team at Ramseier Realty Group is here to help. Let our experts help you find the perfect home while we sell your current one. To schedule an appointment, call today at 816.262.8077 or contact us through our website.