During this time of the year, nearly everyone thinks about the beginning of the holiday season. This time of the year, however, should also be considered as a time for completing some home maintenance before the cold winter weather makes its imminent arrival.
Take the time right now to check off these 8 tasks from your home maintenance to-do list before winter arrives!
Maintain Your Chimney and Fireplace – Before you decide to use your fireplace for the holidays, make sure that you give it thorough seasonal maintenance, giving special attention to the flue, damper, and firebox. A buildup of creosote can lead to a very dangerous chimney fire. Also, if you don’t already have a chimney cap, we suggest that you go ahead and get one. You can read more about fireplace safety here!
Ready Your Snow Supplies – You might not be ready to face all that frozen precipitation that comes with winter, but you will have to eventually! Ready your snow gear before the weather turns nasty! Make sure that your snow shovel isn’t buried underneath all of your tools and that you have quick and easy access to it in case of bad weather. If you use a snow blower, have it serviced and fill the tank with fresh gasoline. Finally, stock up on calcium chloride and some sand for deicing – keep a little of it inside your entrance in case you wake up to a snowy surprise in the morning!
Clean Your Gutters – If you haven’t done this yet, now is the time to get it done! Wear long rubber gloves, grab a gallon bucket, and scoop out leaves and debris into the bucket by hand. After the gutters are cleaned, run water down the gutter to see if it drains properly or if there are any spots that need to be patched up before the winter arrives.
Maintain Large Appliances – The holidays are quickly approaching, and that means family, fun times, and of course, great food! You will want to make sure that your appliances are properly prepared for the demands you will be putting on them. Pull your fridge from the wall and gently clean the condenser coils in the back with a vacuum cleaner and a brush attachment. Clean your oven and stove drip pans on your electric range oven. This will help ensure that your holidays are even safer!
Check Your Sump Pump – Most homes have sump pumps installed in an unfinished area in the basement. These pumps switch on automatically when groundwater levels rise, eliminating basement water before it’s a problem. If you happen to have a sump pump in your home, be sure that it is in good working condition before the season begins.
Check Your Windows – After the first snowfall is not the time to discover that your windows aren’t properly sealed. As snow builds up and begins to melt in these areas, the water will then penetrate into unprotected areas, which can cause structural members to rot out. Check your windows before the cold weather arrives and caulk areas that aren’t properly sealed to keep out unwanted moisture and drafts.
Maintain Moisture in Your Home – During the winter season, heaters can rob a home of its humidity quite easily. If moisture sounds like a bad thing to have in your home, know that just a little moisture in the air can make heated air feel warmer, which means that you can keep the heat at a slightly lower temperature as long as your humidity is balanced. If you find that your woodwork is cracking or your skin is dry all the time, you probably need more moisture in your home. Consider investing in a humidifier to help add moisture to the atmosphere!
Remember that a well-prepared home also is protected by a solid home insurance policy. That’s where the experts at Madison Mutual come in! Call us at 1-800-766-MMIC or find us online at www.madisonmutual.com to find out about our policies today.