Once you purchase a home, ongoing maintenance is required to protect your investment and keep your home looking its best. By creating a seasonal maintenance checklist, you can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks. Your checklist will include season-specific areas of opportunity, proactive tune-ups and inspections, and scheduled upgrades and repairs.
Below are a few winter-specific tips that will keep your home warm and cozy and operating at optimal efficiency.
Inspect Your Windows
Even if your windows are new and energy-efficient, you should check them at least once per year for the issues below:
- Check the frame for cracks or gaps
- Ensure the weather stripping is still sound
- Check to see if the glass is cracked or broken
- If you have double or triple panes, check for condensation between the panes
Also, keep your windows locked when closed, not just for safety—but to complete the seal that keeps external air out
Inspect Your Doors
Doors can be drafty, allowing in a significant amount of cold air. Check for drafts by lighting a candle and running it along the perimeter of the door when it’s closed to see if it causes the flame to flicker or blows out the candle.
Just like your windows, check for cracks and gaps around the door frame and ensure the weather stripping is sound. If replacing the weather stripping doesn’t improve the draft it may be time to upgrade your door.
Check For Drafty Outlets
Outlets may be small, but they can allow in a significant amount of outside air. It’s easiest to determine if your outlets are drafty in the winter. Simply place your hand up to the outlet during the coldest time of the day to feel whether cold air is blowing through. You can also touch the outlet to see if it feels cold.
The solution is typically fast and easy. Head to your local home improvement store in search of foam outlet gaskets. Then, turn off the electricity, unscrew the outlet cover, insert the gasket—and screw the cover back on. If that doesn’t take care of the draft, you’ll need to hire a professional to discuss your options.
Check Your Ceilings For Leaks Or Cracks
Winter weather is cold and wet so you must keep your eye out for interior leaks. One area of the home to be particularly mindful of is the attic. If it’s been a while since you had your attic inspected, winter is an excellent time. Have an attic professional check for the items below, which will also keep rodents and insects out:
- Areas that can be sealed between the roof and the attic
- Inspect the insulation
- Add or upgrade insulation
- Discuss adding a fan or vent
- Clean HVAC vents to and from the attic
- Suggest additional ways to optimize your attic
In-between professional attic inspections, keep a close eye on the ceilings checking for cracks, bubbling, water stains, and leaks. These are easy to miss until they get big so be sure to look up!
Inspect Your Pipes
Detail cleaning underneath our kitchen and bathroom sinks typically isn’t something most of us do on a weekly basis. This means that you must add checking your pipes to your quarterly maintenance checklist. Pipes can leak from multiple areas but are most likely to leak underneath our sinks.
These are just a few winter tips for protecting your home from the inside out. Click here for an in-depth seasonal maintenance checklist, which you can personalize to your home. Reach out to me today if you are in need of a list of trusted contractors in Virginia or the DC area.
I'm Nancy and I love helping homeowners who have outgrown their current home and are ready to buy a new home but don’t know where to start. Let me know how I can help you make your real estate dreams come true.
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