Taking care of your home is much more than just a weekend of spring cleaning. When you own a house, every season has its own checklist for maintenance. From flushing out water heaters, to cleaning gutters, to simply remembering to test carbon monoxide and smoke detectors, each season has its own challenges to throw at homeowners. Depending on where in the country you live, some of these points may not be necessary, but it’s a good place to start. Here, we’ll outline exactly what you should do to prepare your home year-round and avoid any seasonal emergencies.
Getting ready for winter
(Image Credit: Wonderlane)
Before the snow falls, it’s essential that you go through your pre-winter home checklist. The last thing anyone wants is to do emergency repairs in the middle of winter.
- If you’ve got an indoor fireplace make sure it’s ready for winter by checking it yourself, or better yet, call a professional chimney service.
- Have your furnace serviced by a professional to make sure it works properly.
- Double check your pipes and take extra precautions against freezing and bursting.
- Place rubber mats around the doors, both inside and out. They will help you and your family avoid slips and falls from the snowy and icy ground.
- Always have a stash of sand or salt to melt the ice on driveways and walkways for added safety in those cold winter months.
- Don’t forget to shut off the outside water spigots and store hoses!
Getting ready for spring
(Image Credit: David Sawyer)
When winter comes to a close and the neighborhood starts to melt, families all over the US start the traditional spring cleaning. In addition to the indoor scrub down, it’s the perfect time to make sure your home is in tip-top shape. This season call for some specific repairs left over from winter.
- Fill in cracks or potholes in damaged driveways and walkways that were exacerbated by the ice and salt from winter months.
- Have your air conditioning checked out by a professional to make sure it’s ready for spring and summer.
- Make sure your window’s insulation is still satisfactory and not damaged from winter; repair as necessary.
- Check for any leaks in the walls, ceilings, and basements, as melting snow and ice can creep into the house and cause major problems.
Getting ready for summer
(Image Credit: James Thompson)
Even though we are spending much of our time outdoors in the summer, the hot weather still has an impact on the home and could potentially lead to some big problems. So, before the pool opens and school lets out, you’ll want to do a walk through of your home to make sure it’s ready to withstand the summer.
- Check to make sure your attic fan is working properly (especially if you have items stored there).
- Check for leaks in the roof and walls and look for cracks in the foundation of your home.
- Reseal doors and windows to help keep cool air in instead of out.
- Take advantage of perimeter treatments to keep bugs and other animals out of your house; don’t forget to spray inside as well!
Getting ready for fall
(Image Credit: Don Graham)
Preparing for autumn is a big job and involves a different kind of preparation. Most of the process for getting your home settled for fall and winter will have to do with simply putting things away.
- Cover pools, outdoor grills and fire pits, and reseal patios if needed.
- Bikes, scooters, and other such toys don’t have to be stored right away, but they should be brought inside (either in your home or garage) before it starts to get too cold.
- In addition to a home insulation check, also check your garage insulation to ensure nothing stored there will be damaged by the cold.
- Check the bulbs on outside lamps and lanterns when there is less daylight. A well-lit pathway is a safe pathway.
- Inspect trees and other foliage around the house that may break under icy strain. Remove any problematic branches to avoid damage if they fall.
- Have your furnace serviced to ensure it’s ready for colder weather (this can also be done closer to winter time if you live in a warmer climate, but better sooner than later!).
- Don’t forget to have those gutters cleaned periodically!
Though each season has its own set of needs, there are some things that should be done, year round, to ensure your family’s safety and that your home is in prime condition.
- Regularly changing furnace filters every four to six weeks; more often if you live by a highway or a dusty climate.
- Test smoke and carbon monoxide alarms once a month and replace them every seven to ten years.
- Checking out crawl spaces to make sure any unwelcome guests (bugs or other critters) haven’t moved in.
- Fix leaks right away and keeping an eye out for any mold growth.
Remember, getting your home weather-ready doesn’t have to be a chore. Even the little things can make a big difference when the snow falls or the sun beats down. You’ll be glad you put the work in. Every home has its own quirks, so these lists are only an outline for what your house might need on a seasonal basis. Have any suggestions or items to add to these lists?