11 Winter Maintenance Tips for Your Home

Taking the time to properly maintain your home will protect it from unnecessary and costly catastrophes and extend its overall life. Here are some winter home maintenance tips from seasoned Lancaster, PA contractors to help you protect your house and property through the winter and into spring.

1. Weatherproof Doors and Windows

Doors and windows are usually the biggest culprits for energy loss in the wintertime if you’re in a cooler climate like Lancaster, PA. If your doors and windows are outdated or damaged, hiring contractors to replace them is a worthwhile investment that may end up saving you more money than weatherproofing could.

Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal any gaps around the doors and windows to diminish drafts. Rope caulk, which does not require a caulking gun, is another option that your local hardware store can supply you with. Doing so will keep everyone inside more comfortable through whatever the winter weather brings. Plus, it will protect your HVAC system and keep it from working overtime to stay at steady temperatures.

2. Check the Furnace Filter

Schedule an appointment to have your heating system serviced and for the filter on your furnace to be changed. Doing so allows your furnace to run more efficiently.

Each month in winter, you should also check your furnace filter yourself. Fresh filters will keep the air in your home clean and free of dust.

3. Maintain Proper Insulation

If your house has an attic, make sure it has been properly insulated. Properly installed quality insulation will ensure your home is warmer in the winter months, along with being cooler in the summertime.

Heat escapes from the top of your home, and solid insulation can save you as much as 20% on your insulation bill. Spending on insulation will surely save you money in the long run.

4. Have the Chimney Cleaned

If your house has a working fireplace, make sure to have your chimney checked and cleaned. The Chimney Safety Institute of America reports that the majority of chimney fires are caused by – you guessed it – dirty chimneys! The flue line of chimneys can build up with highly flammable creosote, so regular cleaning is essential.

A chimney sweeping and inspection generally costs less than $500. Making it an annual part of your home maintenance could save you thousands of dollars in damage from a chimney fire that could easily spread throughout your house.

5. Clean the Dryer Hose

While we’re talking about preventing fires, another winter home maintenance essential is to clean out the clothes dryer hose. Lint and other debris can accumulate in the dryer hose and create clogging – an immense fire hazard to beware of. Additionally, continue to clean your dryer filter out after each use.

6. Protect Indoor Pipes

Bursting pipes are a nightmare shared by many homeowners. At all times, keep the temperature inside your home above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent freezing pipes.

Make sure your pipes are properly insulated to stay protected from the cold. Pipes in the basement should take priority, as this is where the bulk of pipe bursting occurs. You should also insulate any pipes outside, in the garage, and near doors and windows. In a similar vein, be sure to disconnect garden hoses from outdoor faucets for the winter.

If you don’t have time or don’t feel confident doing this yourself, the trusted contractors at Home One Services in Lancaster, PA would be happy to assist.

7. Care for Gutters

Clean and inspect your gutters this winter to avoid having any accumulated debris freeze inside or clog, preventing them from functioning at top efficiency. Doing so in the fall is great, but keeping an eye on the gutters throughout winter is wise, too. Keeping gutters clear and connected will ensure any melting snow runs where it should – off the roof and through the downspouts.

8. Check for Damaged Tree Limbs

Planting and maintaining trees are some of the best things you can do for your property and the earth as a whole. You’re helping the ecosystem as a whole and generating better air quality for everyone in and around your home, plus you’re adding shade and untold beauty to your home.

However, you should check the trees for any dead branches each winter. Branches have the potential to snap and damage a roof, siding, or whatever they land on. Contacting arborists or reputable landscape contractors in Lancaster, PA before the first snow can save you money and a hassle.

9. Replace Your Water Tank

If your water tank has not been replaced for more than 10-15 years, it is likely time to get a new one. Examine it for cracks or other damage.

Even if it does not need to be replaced, winter is a good time to flush the water tank to remove any sediment that could have built up. Is your water tank insulated? If not, consider using a water heater insulation blanket designed for this purpose.

10. Have Any Loose Shingles Repaired

Have a suspicion your roof has loose, damaged, or missing shingles? Hire a licensed roofing contractor to inspect the roof pronto so that any repairs can be made before the first snow. Snow and ice can cause loose shingles to shift even more, potentially leading to leaks in your roof.

11. Mulch Flower Beds

Before peak winter temperatures drop, add a layer of hardwood mulch to your flower beds. Mulching for the winter helps to regulate the soil temperature by providing a buffer between your plants and the freezing temperatures of winter. Otherwise, roots are more susceptible to damage and death.

As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to keep your home in working order this winter. If it would ease your mind or workload, consider calling Lancaster, PA-based contractors Home One Services to perform winter maintenance checks or any handyman services your home would benefit from.

As licensed contractors serving residents in Lancaster, PA and the surrounding area, Home One Services is committed to improving your home, as well as your way of life. Request an estimate from us or call us at 717-581-3474 for assistance. We would be honored to serve you, no matter what the job may be.