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10 Wintertime Tips for Your Home

home maintenance

Your home needs several types of maintenance at different times of the year. Some tasks are performed monthly, quarterly or yearly. Other tasks are performed just once each season. January or February is a great time of the year to check off the items listed below. Here are 10 wintertime tips we hope you find useful to preserve your home for cold months ahead.

1. Check the Fireplace

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For example, check for cracks on the chimney structure, as well as loose bricks or missing mortar. A wire-mesh cap should cover the top of the chimney to keep out critters, leaves, and rain. Also, check for creosote build up in your chimney. Call a professional chimney cleaner if you’re not sure when or how to clean your chimney.

2. Drain Sediment From Your Water Heater

home maintenance water heater

We do not know many people who actually do this; however, it most certainly can extend the life of your water heater by years. Sediment will collect at the bottom of a tank and create hot spots which can cause the tank to leak. If you have an electric-powered tank, sediment can cause the lower heating element to fail. Therefore, experts recommend draining water heaters at least once each year.

10 wintertime tips

3. Clean Up & Donate to Charity

home maintnenance

Winter months are a great time to go through your house and collect things that you or your family no longer uses. So, put on your favorite music and place a plastic tub in each room.

4. Prevent Outside Water Faucets from Freezing

home maintenance

Oh, the joy of going into your relaxing, cozy den only to discover wet carpet, soggy sheetrock, and water dripping down the wall. Firstly, we’re not pointing fingers here, but garden hoses should be removed from all faucets, including frost-free. The reason is that the water may not drain down properly away from the faucet. Instead, it will expand in the spigot and pipe. And finally, when that happens, you can expect a water leak, costly repairs to the interior, and costly plumber services.

10 wintertime tips

5. Prepare for Winter Storms

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Unfortunately, with winter storms there can be heavy ice or strong winds which cause power outages. Therefore, you should have plenty of bottled water, non-perishables, first-aid supplies, toiletry items, a phone charger for your car, and flashlights. Check out the CDC’s recommendations for cold weather preparedness.

6. Stop Ice Dams From Forming

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Some homes are more likely to form ice dams than others. Ice dams are contiguous chunks of ice that form along the edges of your roof. They’re no big deal when they’re frozen. But when outside temps warm up, water melting off the roof will flow downward and pool behind the ice. This is when water will seep under the shingles. Eventually, the water will drip through and into the soffits, walls, and even onto your ceilings.

10 wintertime tips

7. Reverse Ceiling Fans

home maintenance wichita ks

Winter = Clockwise, Slowest Speed

Summer = Counter Clockwise

It’s that easy! In the summer, you want the air pushing straight down on you to help cool. In the winter, you want a gentle updraft to push warm air, which naturally rises to the ceiling, down along the walls and the floor.

10 wintertime tips

8. Protect Patio Furniture

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You can extend the life of your patio furniture by taking a few winterizing steps. For example, you can apply a specialty oil finish on wood patio furniture and you can give aluminum powder-coated furniture a coat of automotive wax. After applying these protective coatings, dry thoroughly, then cover with a tarp.

9. Purchase Salt or Sand

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Provide traction for family, friends, neighbors, and those delivering your Amazon Prime packages, by stocking up on sand or ice melt. For those with north-side exposure, you may have sidewalk surfaces or driveways in shade. These areas are particularly susceptible to ice or black ice. In the photo, you can see the condensation is on only part of the sidewalk–the section which is closest to the house and the entryway. The reason for this is because the air warmed up quickly today, from 21°F to 52°F. The sidewalk in the sun is warmer than the sidewalk in the shade, therefore we have condensation. Furthermore, ice will form again on this sidewalk in a few hours, when the temperature drop below 32°F.

10 wintertime tips

10. Clean Your Gutters

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Clogged gutters in the winter are a particularly bad situation in this area because of the rainy season just around the corner. Your gutters must be free from leaf muck, sticks, pine cones, and leaves, in order to move water away from your home. If you haven’t already, call Gutter King Wichita to clean your gutters.

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