With Thanksgiving approaching and winter just around the corner, there is plenty to look forward to and prepare for this time of year. Holiday hosting isn’t the only thing requiring prep work, your home has a winter checklist of its own. Prepare your home for winter weather now before the holidays begin so you can relax and enjoy the simple pleasures of the season when they arrive.
1. Protect entryway floors
With tracked-in road salt, snow, ice, and sand, entryways take a beating in the winter. Protect your entryway floors by placing floor mats inside and just outside each entrance of your home and invest in a boot brush to remove extra snow. Rubber shoe trays are great for catching leftover snow and work great for keeping your entryway clean and dry.
2. Check your chimney and furnace
Before you fully rely on your furnace and fireplace for heating, have both your chimney and furnace inspected to ensure they are working properly. The chance of a chimney fire increases during the winter, and a blocked flue can increase the chances of carbon monoxide poisoning. Make sure your fireplace is stocked with firewood before cold weather hits for good.
3. Keep warm air inside
Cracks in walls, doors, and windows will allow freezing air into your home during the winter months. To preserve your home’s heat and keep your energy bill from spiking, check and repair any caulking around windows, doors, as well as exterior faucets or vents. Utilize weatherstripping around windows and doors, and seal cracks in foundation walls.
4. Deep clean bathrooms
Plan to deep clean your bathrooms around a week or so before holiday hosting so a quick wipe-down will be enough to quickly freshen the space before company arrives. While you’re cleaning, check and replace any cracked or worn-out bathtub caulking to prevent water seepage.
5. Sump pump maintenance
If you have a sump pump in your basement, it is important to make sure it is working properly before the winter season arrives. Be sure to also turn off any outside water faucets and clear the lines of water to prevent leaks and damage.
6. Perform an exterior sweep
Take time to walk around the exterior of your home and check for uneven walkways, loose railings, overgrown shrubbery/bushes, or clogged gutters that may cause trouble when snow and ice arrive. Trim low-hanging branches that may eventually break with snow and ice buildup.
As daylight continues to shorten, having functional exterior lighting is also critical. Test garage and porch lights, as well as any landscape lighting, and replace bulbs as needed. These repairs and yard work will help keep walkways as safe as possible throughout winter.
7. Update winter essentials
Now is the time to prepare for our bitter Midwest winters. Replace any old shovels or ice scrapers and stock up on firewood if you have a wood-burning fireplace. Check that your snow blower and backup generator are working properly. Don’t forget to restock your home and car emergency kit to prepare for frigid temperatures and snow days.
8. Deep clean the kitchen
Holiday meals and baking days will be here soon, so take time now to tackle more time-intensive tasks to ensure your kitchen looks beautiful and works efficiently. Clean your oven, small appliances, light fixtures, refrigerator, backsplash, and range hood/filter. Scrub your tile grout as well.
9. Get a jump on holiday prep
Organize and purge your holiday décor now to make room for fresh décor and smoother decorating when the time comes. Consider washing serving dishes and table linens now to lessen the load when Thanksgiving day arrives. For those of you who spend the holiday season baking, gather your favorite recipes now, virtually or on paper, to keep things organized and easily on hand.
10. Prevent ice dams
When the edges of a roof are colder than the upper regions, ice forms around the eaves. As the snow melts, the water builds up and forms a “dam” of ice that causes leaks and damage to the roof and home. To prevent ice dams, clean out your gutters, upgrade attic insulation and ventilation, purchase a roof rake, and remove snow as quickly as possible after a storm.
If a particular area causes issues year after year, consider installing heat cables on the roof to prevent the buildup of ice from leaking into the house. If you need help with getting your house ready for winter, give Advance Home Services a call and we’ll help with whatever we can!
You may determine that no measure of cleaning and re-arranging will do! Maybe a complete overhaul of your kitchen, your bath, or any other area of your home is really what you need. With our Common Sense Remodeling process, remodeling your home has never been easier. Call us at 847-836-2600 or schedule an appointment with a designer to get your project plans started.