Practicing preventive care – both inside and outside your home – can save thousands of dollars in repairs come later this winter. What follows is a brief checklist to get you started.
For Outside The Home:
- Inspect exterior lights and outlets. Be sure that none of the outlets are cracked or broken, or have exposed wires.
- Clean gutters and clear all blockages. If leaves are falling, redo after leaves are off all trees.
- Inspect and test outdoor railings and stairs.
- Have problem trees trimmed, including those that may damage your home in a storm.
- Protect outdoor water faucets from freezing. Consider using foam cups, sold at hardware stores.
- Change batteries in all smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms, whether they’re “dead” or not.
- Vacuum refrigerator condenser coils, plus the front bottom grill. Empty and clean the drip pan.
- Inspect wood stoves and fireplace inserts. Hire a certified chimney sweeper to clean the chimney, if needed.
- Insulate bare water pipes running through your home to prevent freezing and to limit condensation on cold-water lines.
- Inspect automatic garage door opener. Lubricate chains according to manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure bolts and screws are properly tightened and secured.
If your routine maintenance uncovers larger issues including a faulty HVAC unit, or a leaking faucet, for example, seek professional help to make the repair.
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