The long Maine winter can be tough on your house, so it’s smart to put together a Winter Home Maintenance Checklist, and then check off items one by one. What should be on your checklist? We recommend these 4 key things:
Do preventative maintenance of your heating system
Preventative maintenance is a HUGE secret to extending the life of your system and identifying potential problems before the heart of winter sets in. Each year you should have your heating system checked and serviced by a licensed contractor. You should also clean or replace the furnace filter on forced hot-air systems. If you have a wood-burning stove, have your chimney checked and serviced at least once a year and ensure the chimney is clear of creosote-buildup.
Before winter arrives in full force, you should also have your fuel tanks filled, and keep an eye on levels throughout the winter. Inside you house, set your thermostat no lower than 55 degrees Fahrenheit, to keep water pipes sufficiently warm.
Make sure your insulation is adequate
Take time to inspect and upgrade your home’s insulation and weather-stripping. If excessive heat escapes into your attic, it may warm the ice and snow on your roof. Then, when it refreezes, it can cause an ice dam, which can lead to water damage inside your home—possibly even a roof collapse. For this very important reason, you should add extra insulation in your attic. Also be sure to caulk windows to guard against heat loss, and add weather-stripping around doors.
Make sure your pipes are sound
Freezing temperatures outside can be particularly damaging to your house’s water piping. So make sure your pipes are prepared to withstand sub-32-degrees Fahrenheit temperatures. Thoroughly check for water leaks and immediately fix any problems you observe. Wrap your water piping in UL-Listed heat tape, and be sure to insulate it if it runs through unheated areas such as garages, crawl spaces, or attics.
Keep adequate winter equipment and supplies on hand
Check to be certain your generators and snow blower are in sound, working condition. And make sure you have a long, strong roof rake and durable, high-quality snow shovels. Have a large supply of ice-melting salt and sand (or another ice-melting compound) conveniently on hand, perhaps just inside your garage door, another readily accessible location.
Finally, if you’re a first-time buyer or new to Maine, it is helpful to understand the added demands winter puts on homeowners. Additionally, we encourage you to become familiar with any specific factors pertaining to winter in your desired city or town (i.e. road maintenance, parking bans, available storm related services). For this and other helpful professional guidance, we invite you to contact us today.