In any household, there’s plenty to do to get you and your family ready for winter. But between stocking up the pantry and prepping your winter wardrobe, you may forget about your home — particularly, the exterior of it. Taking the proper steps to ensure your property is ready before winter arrives will help you avoid costly repairs and ensure your residence is in the best condition possible once spring arrives.
Here are seven important winter home maintenance tips to prepare for the cold and unpredictable winter weather.
1. Washing & Sealing Your Concrete
While it may not seem like it on the surface, concrete is extremely porous (think of a sponge). Throughout the warmer seasons, it collects water, dirt, and grime and traps it within its crevices. Not only does your concrete end up looking dirty, but this is also the direct cause of cracking, chipping, and pitting. When the freeze-thaw cycle hits, the water inside concrete expands. It pushes the particles deeper into those pores, leading to the destruction of your concrete. Having it professionally washed will remove the dirt and grime, and a premium sealer will protect it during the freeze-thaw cycle.
2. Cleaning Out Your Flower Beds
Prepping your flower beds for winter should be an annual task if you want to keep them in tip-top shape. Begin by raking out the old mulch and dead organic matter. For your favorite annual flowers, harvest any mature seeds and store them in a cool, dark area until it’s time to replant them. For perennials, cut back dry stems and diseased foliage. Be extra careful to leave stems and roots intact to ensure they can regrow come spring. To prevent small rodents from nesting in the warm soil, apply a thick layer of mulch over your entire flower bed.
3. Power Washing Your Home
Dirt, grime, mold, and algae can result in permanent staining when left on your home for an extended time. To prevent this, it’s recommended that you have your home power washed on a yearly basis. While the cold temperatures will prevent most of the growth, the heat escape around your faucet creates the perfect winter oasis for mold, mildew, and other contaminants to flourish. If you haven’t done it yet this year, putting it off until next spring could lead to permanent staining.
4. Inspecting Your Window and Door Seals
Next up on the home maintenance tasks to do before winter — checking seals. Nothing is more annoying than receiving your electric bill and realizing that you’ve been heating the great outdoors for much of the winter. Taking a moment to check the seal on each door and window, ensuring that there isn’t a draft, will save you money and the headache of fixing it in the middle of winter.
5. Checking Your Roof and Gutters
Inspect your roof before winter for damage or any organic substances that may cause corrosion. It’s best that a professional checks this area — it’s safer for you,m and experts can identify problems and have the right gear. Your shingles and other components will be soft washed, and any algae and moss will be neutralized before the sleet, ice and snow of winter arrive.
Backed-up gutters can cause damage, ice dams and pest infestations. Clear your gutters of debris at least twice a year.
6. Weatherproofing Your Exterior Pipes
Winter’s freezing temperatures can damage your outdoor plumbing. If your pipes freeze, they can crack. Once thawed, water can spew and cause significant structural damage to your home.
Before winter, check leaking pipes and connectors, fully drain outdoor pipes’ mains and wrap lines with insulation tape. A handy tip is to paint your exterior pipes a striking color, making them easy for you and plumbers to check and find in the snow.
7. Packing Away Your Outdoor Furniture
You know that beautiful welcome mat with your family surname draped across it? Or the porch swing that you long to sit back and relax in? Those items, and all your other outdoor décor, run the risk of being destroyed by the snow and ice that comes along with winter. Save your outdoor furniture by washing it off and packing it away in a dark, dry location. Come spring you can unpack it and enjoy it for at least another year.
Winter Home Maintenance Checklist Wrap Up
These seven home maintenance tips for winter will prepare your home. Come spring, your flower bed will be ready for planting, your outdoor furniture will simply need to be dusted off, and you’ll still have those few hundred dollars you could have spent on your heating bill.
While winter brings shorter and colder days, it can be a relaxing and enjoyable time. That is if you’re not worrying about the next crack appearing in your driveway or stains embedded in your siding. You can remove that worry simply by calling a professional power washing team like Perfect Power Wash. Our expert technicians and industry-leading equipment will ensure your home is ready for winter and looking great for the holidays.