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Winter Maintenance: A Homeowner’s Checklist

Winter in New York and the surrounding areas can be a beautiful time of year. However, with that beauty come certain responsibilities that all homeowners must address to ensure a peaceful season. The freezing temperatures and inevitable snowfall can be damaging to your house if you’re not careful. Follow these precautions throughout the year to keep your home safe despite the treacherous conditions.

Preseason prep
Before the cold begins to set in, make sure that your home is sealed from the chilling temperatures. This means checking your windows, vents and roof in the months leading up to winter. Apply weather stripping to the frames of your windows and doors to lock out the cold, and replace any missing or damaged tiles on your roof. You should also close crawl space vents to further keep in the warmth and protect your house from the outdoor conditions. Additionally, check your pipes’ insulation before the temperatures drop. If your pipes burst, it could result in a very costly and uncomfortable problem.

Throughout the season
Keeping your home protected in the winter doesn’t end when the season starts. There are several checks that you should perform throughout the cold months to make sure everything is working as it should. Periodically clean the filters in your furnace and replace them when necessary to keep it running efficiently. You should also frequently check your roof – especially after it snows or rains. Ice dams can form and not just weigh down your roof, but also cause internal leaking. Additional insulation in your roof should be able to fix an issue like this. Finally, on those nights when the temperatures severely drop, try keeping your faucets at a slight drip. The running water can help prevent pipes from freezing.

End-of-winter considerations
It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the approaching warm weather, but that doesn’t mean your home improvement tasks should stop. This is when it’s most important to clear gutters of snow and debris. The warmer temperature causes the snow to melt and rain to fall, which means your home will be in need of water removal. If the gutters are backed up, water won’t be able to effectively stream away from your foundation, and that could cause serious problems. This is also when you should check and clean your air conditioning unit. If there are any issues with it, you’ll be able to resolve them before the hot temperatures roll in.