Winter Home Maintenance Tips

Winter can be hard on homes! Here are some tips to consider implementing when the weather turns cold. Keep your home and your family safe when the snow starts to fall and the ice builds up.

Winter Home Maintenance Tips

David Dorton, our buyers specialist, sat down with home inspector Phil Vandel to discuss winter home maintenance. 


Below are some of the key takeaways from their talk. To watch the full conversation, check out the video above.


General Maintenance


Walk around your house and write down the obvious things that you see are wrong.


Grab a pen and paper and go outside. Walk around your house and write down any problems you see. It’s okay. No house is perfect!


Look for ground that dips toward your house, bushes that are touching your siding, displaced siding, broken windows, cracks in your foundation, etc. By doing this, you’ll come up with a basic list of items you need to take care of.


Assemble an emergency kit and make a plan of action for extreme circumstances.


We get a lot of ice storms in St Joseph, MO. Instead of waiting until extreme weather hits, take time to prepare yourself. 


What are you going to do if you lose power? Will you rely on your fireplace for heat? Should you buy a generator? Do you need to set money aside so you can go get a hotel room in Kansas City?


Write down your plan so that when extreme conditions strike, all you have to do is pull out your plan and follow it.


Exterior Maintenance


Look to see if snow is melting on your roof.


When you drive around town after it snows, you’ll notice that some roofs are melting snow off faster than other roofs. This is an indication of poor or inadequate insulation in your attic.


As the heat from your home rises, it escapes through the inadequate insulation and melts the snow on the roof.


Check to see if you have tree limbs overhanging your home.


Most people don’t realize that a half inch of ice can add up to 500lbs to a tree! That’s like having a baby grand piano hanging over your roof!


Even if the limb doesn’t fall on your house, the ice can cause that limb to hang lower. Then as the wind blows, that limb brushes over your shingles and knocks the granules off. 


If the weather permits and you have the ability, cut those limbs back so they don’t pose a risk to your house.


Pay attention to where gutters and downspouts flow. 


It’s best if you can divert water away from your house by six feet. 


During the winter months, you need to watch for downspouts that go across concrete. This can create a severe slip hazard!


Unhook your garden hoses.


After unhooking your hoses, shut off the water lines leading to your exterior spigots, if you can.


It’s also a good idea to store your hoses either inside your house or in your basement so that the rubber doesn’t freeze and crack over time.


Interior Maintenance


Feel for drafts, then seal them.


It’s okay for it to feel cold around your windows. But if you feel air moving, that’s when you should address it. When cold air starts blowing in, that will reduce your heat efficiency.


You can also utilize a home inspector, like Phil, who can use a thermal imaging camera in your house. This device allows you to see exactly where cold air is coming in your home. 


Change your furnace filter.


As your filter gets clogged up with dust and dirt, it puts out heat less effectively. So put a new filter in so that warm air can easily flow through and keep your living room nice and toasty!


Have your furnace maintained.


Even in new furnaces, sometimes the condensation lines begin to leak. This can cause corrosion and rusting in the bottom of your furnace. So it’s good if you can catch those problems earlier than later.


Keep your chimney clean.


Even if you burn hot fires, creosote can build up and pose a risk of starting a chimney fire.


A lot of the homes in St Joe are older homes. Some of those old fireplaces were not properly lined. When the mortar degrades, fire can get out into the wall. You don’t even know there’s a problem until the fire truck shows up!


Also, during the non-winter months, animals (birds, bats, wasps, etc.) can form nests in your chimney. That becomes a fire risk as well.


So get your chimney cleaned on a regular basis.


Reverse ceiling fans.


During the summer, you want to push that warm air up and away from you. But in the winter, you want to bring that warm air back down. You can accomplish that by reversing your ceiling fan.


Check smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.


If you don’t have smoke or carbon monoxide detectors in your home, then you should buy some right away! 


You can also visit the National Fire Protection Association to see where your smoke alarms should be located.


You can also learn more about carbon monoxide safety here.


If you do have smoke detectors, push the test button to make sure the batteries are still good.


Don’t use extension cords with space heaters.


Simply put, extension cords get extremely hot when plugged into space heaters. This can become a major fire hazard.

Keeping your furnace system operating well should reduce your need to use space heaters altogether. But if you do find that you need or want to use a heater, avoid using an extension cord.


Monitor basement cracks and water intrusion.


You can keep track of cracks in your foundation by using a marker. Over time, you can go back to see if the cracks have extended. 


In the wintertime, as the ground freezes and thaws, you may see cracks move and lateral displacement. Sometimes this leads to water coming into your house (which can also lead to molding).


Miscellaneous Maintenance


Test for radon.


Radon levels are higher during the wintertime. Radon is a natural gas that comes out of the earth. Typically, it exits the ground and dissipates in the air.

But in the winter, the ground freezes and creates a crust (especially if there is snow and ice on the ground). When that happens, radon gas can’t escape naturally. What happens, then, is that you may see radon levels rise in your house.


Why is that a concern? Radon is the biggest cause of lung cancer, next to smoking, in the US. 


Even newer houses can have high levels of radon. Sometimes newly built houses see higher levels because they’ve recently disturbed the soil.


Knowledge is power. Home inspectors offer radon testing services so you can learn if you have high levels of radon. If that's the case, you can implement steps to lower the risk, such as radon mitigation systems.


Properly ventilate and dehumidify to reduce mold.


When winter starts coming to an end, the ground begins to thaw. As this happens, walls will begin to sweat moisture.

If your basement is not properly ventilated, you might start seeing mold appear. Properly ventilating your basement or using a dehumidifier can keep your basement dry and reduce mold.


Keeping You and Your Family Safe


We want you and your family to be safe and healthy. Hopefully you’ve found this resource helpful.

As stated before, knowledge is power. Now that you know more about how to maintain your home during the winter, you can implement some of these ideas in your own household.


Feel free to reach out to our team or to Phil Vandel if you have any more questions about this topic!


Contact Our Real Estate Agents

Fill out the form and one of our team will get back with you within no more than 24 hours.

Contact Information

Fill out the form and our Team will get back to you within 24 hours.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

What Our Clients Say About Us...

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

My wife and I couldn't be happier with our first home buying experience with Ramseier Realty. Excellent communication, great time management and personal attention that exceeded our expectations. We will be recommending them to all of our friends and family. A++

William Burnich

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her team are awesome! They think of everything and are so helpful as you are in the middle of chaos trying to sell, pack, buy and move. Lorrie or someone from her team will walk you through the whole process before you start to give you an idea of how they run things. The pictures they post are great and really show off your home. Couldnt think of going with anyone else!

Matthew Wieners

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Thank you to the Ramseier team for all you did to make our house purchase effortless. This house will be an amazing addition to the Pivotal Point ministry.

Melissa Frakes

6 days ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Amazing professional but also personal service. This company has been there for us even after the purchase of our dream home

Rachel Rieger

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is awesome, she made the selling of my home easy and removed the stress by handling everything in a timely manner. She took time out of her schedule to just check on me to see how everything was going. She is a great realtor

anagle70

06/19/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

She was great, would recommend her team to anyone. She helped sale our house and our land/lot. Both sold within days without any glitches. Couldn’t be happier or more pleased with how her team performed.

zuser20140308190936384

12/06/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her team were outstanding and I am so glad that we selected her agency to list our home. Everything Lorrie did was 5-star worthy. She presented a compelling analysis and recommendation on our listing price, she and her team were very accessible, very professional and it was a true joy to work with them. Lorrie went above and beyond on many occasions, she has excellent connections and resources which we used from closing agents, to electricians and plumbers. As the seller, she excelled in the "selling" process especially the negotiation and working to get multiple offers. She never took the easy road, always the road that provided the best outcome. Anyone can list and sell a home, but few can make the process seamless and get the absolute best price for the seller....If you are listing, you can't go wrong with Lorrie.

johntinnj

12/04/2020

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie Ramseier has been helping me find a home from August 2017 to May 2018. I can not recommend her and her staff high enough. She went above and beyond for us. I told her the street and several homes that I would like to own, but were not for sale. She made inquiries to those homeowners to find out if they might sell. Although, they did not, I appreciated the effort. Sometimes we worked with Emily and she was great. They were prompt with email and phone call responses and always upbeat and pleasant. What we appreciated the most was her knowledge and professionalism. I would use them again in a heartbeat, if necessary.

tonyferguson80

05/24/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is one of the kindest and most personable people I’ve met. She was easily accessible when we needed her and always made sure our needs were met. We had the best experience selling our home thanks to Lorrie and her group.

MaKayla B.

09/29/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Great service! These gals go above and beyond to make your experience smooth and seamless, whether you are buying or selling your home. Call them for your real estate needs, you will be glad you did!

Renee F.

07/13/2017

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

She is an amazing realtor! One who is more than a realtor, but in who is sincere, and goes more than the extra mile, to find your New Home, and or Business location!

Ana-Maria K.

03/03/2020

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Sold our house in 4 days! Ramseier realty is passionate, prompt and ready to do business.

Alexis C.

03/15/2017

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is great to work with and worked hard to assist in the sale of my home. She has since helped my son and a fried of my son purchase there first homes. Lorrie worked with them through the first time buyers programs to choose what worked best for them and educated them on the differences. Thanks for all the help!

jdavies8

06/28/2016

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Sold our house in 4 days! Ramseier realty is passionate, prompt and ready to do business.

Alexis C.

03/15/2017

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Great service! These gals go above and beyond to make your experience smooth and seamless, whether you are buying or selling your home. Call them for your real estate needs, you will be glad you did!

Renee F.

07/13/2017

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her team are the best!! Very professional, friendly and they get the job done.

Marcy Rodgers H.

07/13/2017

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is one of the kindest and most personable people I’ve met. She was easily accessible when we needed her and always made sure our needs were met. We had the best experience selling our home thanks to Lorrie and her group.

MaKayla B.

09/29/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Loved working with Lorrie and Emily! Professional, friendly and efficient. The photos Lorrie had done for the sale of my home were amazing, sold my house less than 48 hours after being listed!

Leslie D.

11/05/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

They worked great with my work schedule. Always friendly and out going

Lori S.

09/07/2019

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

She is an amazing realtor! One who is more than a realtor, but in who is sincere, and goes more than the extra mile, to find your New Home, and or Business location!

Ana-Maria K.

03/03/2020

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her staff listed our home for sale on a Friday afternoon and had an accepted full offer the very next day! From a seller's perspective, how could anyone ask for better results! Lorrie first impressed me when she was the first to call me back after leaving messages with three other Realtors. I knew at that time, that she was sincere, motivated and wanted our listing! If I had another home in the area, there would only be one call to make to have my home listed and that would be with Lorrie at Keller Williams!

edwardjirvine

04/06/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie Ramseier has been helping me find a home from August 2017 to May 2018. I can not recommend her and her staff high enough. She went above and beyond for us. I told her the street and several homes that I would like to own, but were not for sale. She made inquiries to those homeowners to find out if they might sell. Although, they did not, I appreciated the effort. Sometimes we worked with Emily and she was great. They were prompt with email and phone call responses and always upbeat and pleasant. What we appreciated the most was her knowledge and professionalism. I would use them again in a heartbeat, if necessary.

tonyferguson80

05/24/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is awesome, she made the selling of my home easy and removed the stress by handling everything in a timely manner. She took time out of her schedule to just check on me to see how everything was going. She is a great realtor

anagle70

06/19/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

She was great, would recommend her team to anyone. She helped sale our house and our land/lot. Both sold within days without any glitches. Couldn’t be happier or more pleased with how her team performed.

zuser20140308190936384

12/06/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

If you are looking for a great real estate agent look no further than Emily Creal. She was our “life saver” during the purchase of our new house and took so much stress out of the equation. Emily was so helpful & pleasant to work with and kept us in the loop with every step. Highly recommended!

lisaindm

12/12/2018

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

I needed a quick sale and Lorrie came through! Property was under contract in five days! A small inspection issue was fixed, and closing went off without a hitch. Having never bought or sold real estate before, I was scared as could be. Lorrie’s expertise and reassurances kept me sane. Sandi’s Extraordinary organizational skills kept me abreast of “what’s next?” the whole way though. Thanks so much!

911 bradh

06/12/2019

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her team were outstanding and I am so glad that we selected her agency to list our home. Everything Lorrie did was 5-star worthy. She presented a compelling analysis and recommendation on our listing price, she and her team were very accessible, very professional and it was a true joy to work with them. Lorrie went above and beyond on many occasions, she has excellent connections and resources which we used from closing agents, to electricians and plumbers. As the seller, she excelled in the "selling" process especially the negotiation and working to get multiple offers. She never took the easy road, always the road that provided the best outcome. Anyone can list and sell a home, but few can make the process seamless and get the absolute best price for the seller....If you are listing, you can't go wrong with Lorrie.

johntinnj

12/04/2020

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

I recently listed and sold my home with Ramseier Realty Group. We received multiple offers and had it under contract within a month. Lorrie and her team are attentive and truly care about their clients' best interests. I would recommend this realty team to anyone!

Diedra Summers

2 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Words cannot describe how well we were guided through the entire process of selling our home and purchasing a new one. Every detail was attended to and negotiations were professionally carried out. We were always confident that we were well taken care of.

MikeRuth Weese

2 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Both Lorrie & Jan were SO awesome to work with during our selling and buying process! They are so friendly, willing to help, and really went above and beyond for us to make sure we had the answers we needed to all of our questions. Both of them were so patient and eager to make sure that we were happy, well informed and didn't feel any pressure. We can't thank them enough!!!

Betsy Davis

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

We met Lorrie for the first time at a property she was listing and new right away she was a person of integrity and someone we could trust to sell our home and lead us to a great new place. She did not disappoint. Throughout the process she continued to show us that she was always on top of things. Thanks Lorrie for all you did and for helping us to enjoy the process.

Rodney Mollus

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is by far the best realtor I have ever worked with. Her staff and herself are easy to get a hold of and promptly answer any questions. She has been a blessing to myself and my parents that also just bought a home with her help.

Amanda Wheeler

3 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and I are working on finding me a house in St Joseph. She went out on Superbowl Sunday in 3 degree weather to show me a house. I am an out of state buyer. Unbelieveable. Can't ask for a better realtor.

Debbie V

11 months ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie was absolutely essential to our purchase of our dream home. We were at a stand still and Lorrie represented us perfectly. We have and will continue to recommend her to anyone who wants an awesome advocate in the business of real estate. We love her and cannot thank her enough for all she did for our family. Call her! You will not regret it!

Thetaverse

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and her team are awesome! They think of everything and are so helpful as you are in the middle of chaos trying to sell, pack, buy and move. Lorrie or someone from her team will walk you through the whole process before you start to give you an idea of how they run things. The pictures they post are great and really show off your home. Couldnt think of going with anyone else!

Matthew Wieners

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Jan was very helpful and professional. She was patient with us as we look at a LOT of homes, and was there for us through the entire process - from putting in the offer all the way to closing!

Andy Arends

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Amazing professional but also personal service. This company has been there for us even after the purchase of our dream home

Rachel Rieger

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Just sold our home very quickly, and with no problems. Lorrie and her team were the best! They kept us up to date, were very professional, and were absolutely great to work with. My husband and I highly recommend these folks to anyone looking for a realtor!

Eudora Guinn

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is the best realtor in town. She and her staff were very helpful from beginning to end. We will recommend Ramseier Realty Group to all our friends!

Connie Whitsitt

2 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

It was a better experience than we could have even asked for. The entire team walked us through every step of the process. They were all very kind and professional. To everyone who helped our church find its new home; THANK YOU!

Josh Coverett

a week ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

The whole team did an excellent job helping us to find our new home! Everyone was friendly and professional. They were very quick to respond to any questions or concerns that we had. Thank you so much!

Mary Wood

3 months ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Recently purchased a home in record time. Lorrie and her team delivered on finding the best value and listening to my requirments. I strongly recomment Ramseier Realty Team to handle all of your real estate transactrions.

Rob Buehler

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

My wife and I couldn't be happier with our first home buying experience with Ramseier Realty. Excellent communication, great time management and personal attention that exceeded our expectations. We will be recommending them to all of our friends and family. A++

William Burnich

4 years ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Thank you to the Ramseier team for all you did to make our house purchase effortless. This house will be an amazing addition to the Pivotal Point ministry.

Melissa Frakes

6 days ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

The Best realtorty group that I've worked with, responsive, brings us what we asked for and showed us many houses before we finally got what we wanted. Sold our house for what we wanted and made sure the deal went through.

Daniel Hess

a year ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie and the team did a great job!

Kelly Adkins

9 months ago

5 star reviewed Realtor St. Joseph, MO

Lorrie is the best realtor in town! With her passionate, prompt, competitive and knowledgeable experience she sold our house sold in just 4 days. If you want a quick sale or a devoted realtor to find a new home, she's your gal!

Alexis Conner

4 years ago

What is Your Home's Value?

Our real estate agents love what they do and it shows! Call us for a consultation or check out our 5 star reviews below. We understand that a real estate transaction is about more than simply buying and selling a home or property. It's about family & friends and hopes & dreams.

Find Out Fast

Receive a detailed report on your home's value to your email in just a few minutes.

Detailed Report

Report includes recent sales in your area similar to your home, and many more data points.

Up to Date Accuracy

Our home valuation process ensures you have a great estimate of your value.

Free Broker Review

Want more specifics? Our Real Estate Broker can review your report upon request.

Our Award-Winning Real Estate Agents

We love what we do and it shows! At Ramseier Group, YOU come first. You are unique, your situation is unique, and you deserve a personalized experience. Our real estate team understands that a real estate transaction is about more than simply buying and selling a home or property. It's about you. Call us for a consultation or check out our 5 star reviews.