Winter definitely arrived ahead of schedule in the Midwest in 2019! But it’s not too late to get some of these cold-weather maintenance items taken care of if you haven’t done them already!
Clean your Gutters. Gutters are vital to directing all the of water running off your roof and away from your exteriorwalls and foundation. It’s a good idea to clean the horizontal gutters along your roof lines so fall leaves aren’t washing into your downspouts where they can clog and prevent water from flowing away from the house. And, in any cold weather climate, clean gutters are essential to helping keep ice dams from building up on the roof and causing costly damage.
If you’re not comfortable up on a ladder or walking on the roof, don’t risk it. Hire someone to do the job for you!
Tune-up your furnace & change that air filter
Preventative maintenance can catch a problem before your furnace quits working in the middle of the night or during a cold snap. It’s a lot less expensive than the emergency rates for a HVAC professional to come out on a weekend or at night. Call someone and get it done so the furnace runs as it should and you stay snug and warm all winter.
Did you know that changing the furnace air filter regularly will save you money? When you do, it means your furnace and air conditioner don’t have to work as hard. And a clogged filter makes it harder to keep your home at the temperature you want. Unless you’re OK with higher utility bills, check the filter monthly to see if replacement is needed.
Drain outdoor faucets and store hoses
Not draining and disconnecting all garden hoses from outside spigots can lead to water freezing and hoses splitting. If it’s already too cold to drain hoses, disconnect and take them into the garage or put out in the sun on the warmest possible day to thaw them out. Then drain and store. Check to see if your hose bibs have inside turn-offs for the winter to avoid having them freeze and cause damage that’s expensive to repair. These turn-offs are usually in the basement.
Get your snowblower ready to ‘blow’
Don’t wait until the middle of a big snowstorm to see if your snowblower works and its gas tank is filled…and you have fresh gas available for refills. If it’s electric start, you’re going to be ok, but if not, you may need to put in a fresh sparkplug. Check the tires and the chains if your blower has them. You don’t want to get stuck with that heavy piece of equipment at the bottom of a long walk or driveway with no way to get it back into the garage.
Be prepared to salt
If the coming winter is like last year, there will be lots of cold and thawing, which means frequent icing. One slip on ice can result in a broken joint or limb…and even a serious head injury. Don’t wait until it’s icy out as local stores have been known to run out of salt supplies when the weather causes everyone to want to stock up.