As we enter the colder months, it’s always a good idea to make sure your home is prepared and ready to withstand the winter. You don’t want to be dealing with a home maintenance emergency during the holidays or a snowstorm! Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or are getting ready to enjoy your first winter in your new home, the following checklist will help guide you in making sure your home is in good condition as well as give you peace of mind knowing you can avoid emergency repairs or make a trip to the hardware store in the dead of winter.
- Check insulation wherever possible; replace or add as necessary. Stay warm!
- Have your heating system and heat pump serviced; change or clean filters in your furnace. Once again, stay warm!
- Drain hot water heater and remove sediment from bottom of tank; clean burner surfaces, and adjust burners
- Check all faucets for leaks; replace washers if necessary
- Check and clean humidifier in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions
- Clean refrigerator coils
- Clean out dryer lint vent – a fire in the fireplace is nice, you don’t want a dryer fire!
- Check Washer/Dryer supply lines and make sure none of them need to be replaced
- Make sure piping is properly insulated to prevent pipes from bursting – this can be common in the winter, especially if water freezes!
- Maintain your sump pump and make sure it’s draining properly (if you have one)
- Clean your boiler system (if you have one)
- Test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detectors; instructions on how to test these devices can be found here!
- Check all weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors. You want to keep your heat inside and the cold outside!
- Check for cracks and holes in house siding; fill with caulk as necessary
- Remove and store window air conditioners
- Put weatherproof covers on all outside air conditioners – you can find a cover here!
- Take down screens (if they’re removable) and clean before storing them
- Drain outside faucets and cover them. Find a cover here!
- Clean gutters and drain pipes
- Check the roof for leaks; repair
- Check flashing around vents, skylights, and chimney for leaks
- Check chimney for damaged chimney caps and loose or missing mortar
- Check chimney flue; clean obstructions; make sure damper closes tightly
- Check trees and trim as needed – too much snow on an old or weak limb could cause large limbs to fall!
If you follow the above checklist, you’ll save yourself time, money, and a potential headache from having to deal with any issues during the winter. Make these necessary repairs and changes, then pat yourself on the back because your home will be ready to endure the harsh midwest winter!
Blog By: Matt Engle
Matt began his career in Real Estate in 2015 to pursue his passion. From helping his clients find their first home, sell and upgrade, or buy investment properties, he is there to assist every step of the way. In 2016, he bought his first investment property and currently has 9 units. He’s received the Chicago Association of Realtors’ Top Producer award in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Matt represents clients buying and selling residential real estate and investments in Chicago in addition to having a wealth of experience in residential leasing. He intently listens to his clients’ needs and thoughtfully guides by serving as a professional, educated, and responsive real estate advisor.